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Questionnaire survey to assess the pattern and characteristics of cell-phone usage among Indian oncologists

1 Department of Radiation Oncology, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurgaon, Haryana, India
2 Department of Radiation Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Anusheel Munshi,
Department of Radiation Oncology, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurgaon, Haryana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

Purpose: Obtain baseline data of cell-phone usage in the medical (MO), surgical (SO) and radiation (RO) oncology community practicing in India. Materials and Methods: Indigenously prepared cell-phone usage related questionnaire was used in the present study after approval by the Institutional Ethics/Scientific Committees. The questionnaire had 41 items and was made to assess the cell-phone usage parameters, utility in clinical practice, awareness, and to compare parameters between oncology specialties. Between November 2009 and January 2010, the questionnaire was sent as an E-mail attachment to 200 oncologists in India. Results: In all, 123 responses were received (61% responders); 84 (68.3%) were RO. The median age of responders was 35 years. Overall, 80% felt handicapped without cell-phone. The Mean cell-phone score, an index to assess overall usefulness over a score of 1-10, was 6.46 (median 7, standard deviation 1.709). There was no significant difference between RO, MO and SO in duration of usage (P = 0.235), number of cell-phones (P = 0.496), call duration per day (P = 0.490) and dependence on cell-phone (P = 0.574). Age of starting cell-phone usage was earlier in RO (P = 0.086). Professional usage was significantly more by MO and SO compared to RO (P < 0.001); however, the former were less aware of any potential cell-phone hazards compared to RO (P < 0.007). Conclusion: The results of the first such questionnaire based study have been presented. Most oncologists consider cell-phones a useful tool in patient care. More RO are aware of potential cell-phone hazards compared to non-RO's.

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