Problematic Smartphone Use, Screen Time and Chronotype Correlations in University Students.
BACKGROUND: Besides numerous advantages and commodities offered by smartphones, there are obvious unhealthy effects. The global trend of an increase in the frequency of usage of smartphones, that is, prolonged screen time, is closely related to problematic smartphone use. The aim of our study was to measure the level of problematic smartphone use in a student population through the assessment of the smartphone screen time and the determination of the student chronotype, as well as through the correlation between these variables. METHODS: The participants were students of medicine of both sexes. Problematic smartphone use was measured by the short version of the Smartphone Addiction Scale. Smartphone screen time was assessed by the free Android application Quality Time. Chronotype was established by the Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire. RESULTS: Almost one quarter (22.7%) of students involved in our study could be classified as being "smartphone-addicted". The students with problematic smartphone use more frequently (statistical significance) belonged to the evening chronotype. Those students spent significantly more time on their phones compared to the non-addicted ones. There was no statistically significant difference between the number of male and female students with problematic smartphone use. The best predictors of problematic smartphone use were longer daily smartphone screen time and evening chronotype personality. CONCLUSIONS: The results of our study showed that a significant number of students of medicine showed problematic smartphone use. There was a strong correlation between extensive screen time and the level of problematic smartphone use in the studied population.