Prevalence of phubbing by student pharmacists at two colleges of pharmacy

Megan Lo, Daniel R. Malcom, Jeff Cain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Problematic smartphone use has been associated with numerous factors of mental health including depression, stress, and anxiety. Most of the research in this area has focused on the effects to the smartphone user. One relatively new phenomenon in this area of research is phone snubbing (“phubbing”) and its effect on others. The purpose of this pilot study was to determine the prevalence of phubbing behavior among a group of student pharmacists. Methods: The validated Generic Scale of Phubbing (GSP) was administered to a convenience sample of student pharmacists at two different doctor of pharmacy programs. The scale is scored from 15 to 105, with higher scores indicating a greater degree of phubbing behavior. Results: Of 555 eligible students, 262 (47.2%) responded to the survey. Scores were similar to, but lower than, scores from other studies. Institution was a significant factor in predicting GSP score. Gender and age group, when taking into account institution, were not significant predictors of GSP scores. Overall, the data in our study showed good internal consistency with a Cronbach's alpha for the combined group of 0.86. Conclusions: As a relatively new phenomenon, limited data are available about the long-term effects of phubbing on mental health. Our research showed comparable, but lower levels of phubbing behavior to previous studies and establishes a baseline measurement for which further research can be added.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-431
Number of pages7
JournalCurrents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Inc.


  • Digital media
  • Mental health
  • Phubbing
  • Smartphone
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics
  • Pharmacy


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