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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 897-905

Healthcare-related smartphone use among doctors in hospitals in Kaduna, Nigeria – A Survey

Department of Medicine, Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital, Kaduna State University, Kaduna, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. H Yahya
Department of Medicine, Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital, Kaduna State University, PO Box 9727, Kaduna
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/njcp.njcp_454_18

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Background: The use of smartphones is now ubiquitous in developed countries and many studies have documented their use as a point of care tool, for communication and for reference purposes among various categories of doctors. In Africa and in Nigeria, fewer studies have been conducted and these have been confined to medical students, Interns and resident doctors. Aims and Methods: The aims of our study were to examine ownership, frequency and pattern of use and problems encountered in the use of smartphones among all category of doctors in hospitals in Kaduna, Nigeria. Results: A 20-item structured questionnaire was completed by 326 doctors from public and private/faith-based hospitals (aged 23 – 70 years, median 34, two thirds male). All but one respondent owned a smartphone and 99% reported using these during their work in hospital. The following activities were the most frequently performed (at least once a day) using smartphones: Check details about a disease (48.7% of respondents), Medscape (45.9%), voice/text to colleague (45.3%), check differential diagnosis (39.1%), Social Media (37.9%), check drug interactions (34.9%), find indications for use of drugs (34.3%), and use of drugs in special circumstances (33.8%). Younger doctors (less than 40 years) and particularly Interns/NYSC doctors and doctors within 10 years of graduation, were significantly more likely to perform above-mentioned activities. 86% of respondents graded their phones as very useful or invaluable. Perceived lack of time and unreliable internet were the most commonly reported barriers to optimal use. Conclusion: Smartphone use in hospitals among doctors in Kaduna is universal and is mainly for point of care, communication and reference purposes.

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