Concerns about health problems due to the increasing use of mobile phones are growing. Excessive use of mobile phones can affect the quality of sleep as one of the important issues in the health literature and general health of people. Therefore, this study investigated the relationship between the excessive use of mobile phones and general health and quality of sleep on 450 Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) students in five universities of medical sciences in the North East of Iran in 2014. To achieve this objective, special questionnaires that included Cell Phone Overuse Scale, Pittsburgh's Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) were used, respectively. In addition to descriptive statistical methods, independent t-test, Pearson correlation, analysis of variance (ANOVA) and multiple regression tests were performed. The results revealed that half of the students had a poor level of sleep quality and most of them were considered unhealthy. The Pearson correlation co-efficient indicated a significant association between the excessive use of mobile phones and the total score of general health and the quality of sleep. In addition, the results of the multiple regression showed that the excessive use of mobile phones has a significant relationship between each of the four subscales of general health and the quality of sleep. Furthermore, the results of the multivariate regression indicated that the quality of sleep has a simultaneous effect on each of the four scales of the general health. Overall, a simultaneous study of the effects of the mobile phones on the quality of sleep and the general health could be considered as a trigger to employ some intervention programs to improve their general health status, quality of sleep and consequently educational performance.
Keywords: Cell phones; general health; quality of sleep; students.