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What Predicts Late-Night Whatsapping Habits - Usage Characteristics Or Psycho-Behavioral Attributes? A Health Workers Survey

Kurubaran Ganasegeran, Sami Abdo Radman Al-Dubai, Surajudeen Abiola Abdulrahman, Sivashunmugam Sangaran, Wilson Hau Wuei Yeow, Pukunan Renganathan


Objectives: With the explosion in the use of WhatsApp Messenger globally, the prevalence of late-night WhatsApping is poised to show a commensurate increase. This has sparked debates on a possible new wave of technological addiction that could cause serious psycho-behavioral repercussions. Acknowledging the ubiquity of WhatsApp, healthcare professionals have adopted it as a preferred communication tool in clinical practice. This preliminary cross-sectional study aimed to explore the prevalence of and psycho-behavioral factors associated with late-night WhatsApping.

Methods: It was conducted on a universal sample of 307 healthcare professionals across medical and casualty departments in a Malaysian public hospital. The self-administered questionnaire consisted of items on socio-demographics, WhatsApp usage characteristics, and psycho-behavioral attributes.

Results: Majority of respondents (72.9%) reported late-night WhatsApping habits. In multivariate analyses, late-night WhatsApping was significantly higher among those who used WhatsApp for more than 12 months (Adjusted odds ratio, AOR = 4.4, 95% Confidence interval, CI 2.2–8.8, p < 0.001), those who frequently kept mobile data on to avoid missing WhatsApp messages (AOR = 3.2, 95% CI 1.3–5.8, p = 0.006), those with frequent social connections (AOR = 3.0, 95% CI 1.4–6.4, p = 0.003), and those living alone (AOR = 2.3, 95% CI 1.1–5.2, p = 0.038).

Conclusion: Late-night WhatsApping was significantly associated with usage characteristics and psycho-behavioral attributes.

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Mobile Technology; Habits; Psychology; Behavior; Addiction; Healthcare

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