Association of problematic smartphone use with poor sleep quality, depression, and anxiety: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Psychiatry Res. 2020 Feb:284:112686. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2019.112686. Epub 2019 Nov 12.


To quantitatively assess the association of problematic smartphone use (PSU) with poor sleep quality, depression, and anxiety, we reviewed current evidence from observational studies and performed a systematic review and meta-analysis. The EBSCO PsycARTICLES, EMBASE, PubMed and Web of Science databases were searched, and 14 studies were included for the systematic review and meta-analysis. We calculated odds risk and 95% confidence intervals (CIs), using random-effect or fixed-effect models. Heterogeneity was assessed using I2 and chi2 statistics. Subgroup analyses were conducted based on country, adjusted variables, the methods of statistical analysis, outcome measures and publication year. We found significantly increased risks of poor sleep quality, depression, and anxiety in people with PSU. Our findings highlight the necessity of managing the PSU. However, further studies are required to confirm the results due to the high heterogeneity and methodological limitations.

Keywords: Anxiety; Depression; Meta-analysis; Problematic smartphone use; Sleep quality; Systematic review.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Anxiety / psychology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Observational Studies as Topic
  • Sleep / physiology
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / diagnosis
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / epidemiology
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / psychology*
  • Smartphone / trends*