Objective: There are growing concerns regarding the negative impacts of smartphone use on healthcare providers’ personal and professional lives. We aimed to assess the extent of smartphone usage among healthcare workers in Saudi Arabia and measure its impact on their personal and professional lives. Methods: A cross-sectional online study, using the Smartphone Impact Scale (SIS) was conducted among healthcare workers from the private and government sector.
Results: The participants (N=1511; 36.5% Saudi, 63.5% non-Saudi) included physicians and allied healthcare providers. A significant difference in smartphone usage between physicians and allied health providers was found; the main purpose for using smartphones during working hours was for personal and patient care (69%). The association between the impact of smartphone usage and socio-demographic variables was significant, and the SIS’s domains were significantly correlated. The impact of smartphone usage on personal and professional life was mildly negative and negligible, respectively.
Conclusions: Smartphone usage decreased with age, and the impact thereof was associated with time spent using it. Results also pointed to a robust relationship between the different domains of SIS. Overall, smartphone usage had a significant influence on healthcare providers and impacted their personal and professional lives.