Objective: to identify the factors associated with the academic use of smartphones in medical students from 40 faculties in Latin America. Material and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in medical students from 40 faculties in Latin America. A questionnaire was used to measure the academic use of Smartphone, and its association with socioacademic variables, training in scientific databases and appreciation of technologies provided by the university. Multilevel random effects models were used to estimate prevalence ratios. The contribution of each co-variable was evaluated using nested models using the log-likelihood ratio test. Results: We surveyed 11587 participants. 40.9% belonged to academic groups. 68.2% reported using a Smartphone for academic purposes. A positive association was found between academic use of Smartphone and female sex (PR: 1.16, 95% CI: 1.06-1.26, p = 0.001), from Paraguay (PR: 1.44, 95% CI: 1.33-1.55, p < 0.001), carry out clinical cycles (PR: 1.12, IC95%: 1.03-1.23, p = 0.012), training in SCOPUS (PR: 1.26, IC95%: 1.171.35, p <0.001) and belonging to research groups (PR : 1.23, 95% CI: 1.13-1.34, p <0.001). In multiple regression, students affiliated with academic groups had 18% less prevalence of Smartphone academic use (PR: 0.82, 95% CI: 0.75-0.89, p <0.001). Discussion: Most students used Smartphone for academic purposes. The affiliation to academic groups seems to reduce the prevalence of its use. More evidence is needed on the factors related to the use of information technologies such as the Smartphone, particularly in the student-physician population.
- information and communication technologies
- medical student
- medical education