The prevalence and related factors of phantom vibration among medical students: A first look in Vietnam

Original Research

Abstract

Background: Phantom vibration (PV) is an illusionary perception in which people perceive their mobile phone vibrates while it actually does not. Recently, PV has attracted attention in psychology and medical field. There are several studies investigating the prevalence and risk factors associated with this phenomenon. However, the findings are inconsistent. The prevalence of PV fluctuates from 21% to 89% among different groups and its mechanism remains unclear. Further understanding is necessary to identify the settings in which PV may harm the population and warrant further exploration.

Objectives: This study aims to explore the prevalence of PV among medical students in Ho Chi Minh City and settings that PV can risk people’s health. Relationships between PV and phone usage habits as well as psychiatric disturbance also are investigated.

Methods: By using online questionnaire on 377 undergraduate medical students in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, the cross-sectional study explored factors associated with PV, including demographic, behavioral phone usage, and mental/emotional factors using the Self Reporting Questionaire - 20 (SRQ-20). The descriptive and association analyses were employed using R software.

Results: The study found a significant association between mental/emotional factors (i.e. mental disturbance and phone attachment) and PV (OR=2.15, 95% CI=1.21-3.81, p value=0.009; OR=1.75, 95% CI=1.02-3.01, p value=0.043 respectively), which suggests an important role of mental/emotional factors in explaining the potential mechanism of PV. A high proportion of participants also experienced PV while driving (55.5%) within the last month. This implies the impact of PV possibly becomes significant, causing an increase in the risk of traffic accident due to distracted driving.

Graphical abstract

Switching to Effective and Optimal Study Methods - A necessary tool for Educational Success

Case Study

Abstract

The secret of educational success and splendid future with prosperous career lies in the constant hard work performed in a smart way. By that way, the change or modification in study methods, exam strategies, and learning techniques is necessity. Deriving from our own experience as medical students from some developing countries from all over the world, authors support some tips and methods to approach the medical field more productive.

Graphical abstract

How to overcome challenges related to English and academic writing skills when studying abroad

Case Study

Abstract

Nowadays, pursuing postgraduate study abroad after completing a Medical Doctor (MD) degree in their home country is common among Vietnamese doctors. There are several challenges in studying overseas that international students need to overcome to ensure a favorable outcome of their learning journey. The presenting paper mainly discussed about the challenges related to English and academic writing skills and aimed to provide some tips for studying effectively in developed countries. Based on his own experiences as a postgraduate international student in Australia, the author found that a successful learning journey could be facilitated by (1) feeling free to ask, (2) making friends with the locals and other international students, (3) exploring the local life, (4) learning and using a reference management software, and (5) attending all free academic skills workshops and consultations provided by the university.

Graphical abstract

Evaluation of ESP Effectiveness in Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Original Research

Abstract

Since 2011, English for Specific Purposes (ESP) curriculum in Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) has been changed in accordance with pharmaceutical specialization orientation and did apply the active learning-learner centered teaching methods. Our study used three self-administered questionnaires to collect the feedbacks from sophomores, final-year and pharmacist graduating in 2016 in evaluating ESP course effectiveness. Data analyzed with STATA 13 indicated that English lecturers made efforts to organize the active learning activities in ESP class but their target has neither been effective nor met the required students’ needs in academic purposes as well as their occupational purposes. In addition, students’ passivity and lack of apparent motivation made it more difficult to apply the active learning method. Generally, final-year pharmacy students and newly graduated pharmacists, besides their moderate English competence, had a low frequency in using English. It is also found that there exists the relationship between final-year pharmacy students’ frequency of using English, their English competence and pharmaceutical specialization as well as that between English use frequency and occupation.

Graphical abstract

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