Sleep Quality and Self-Stigma Mediate the Association Between Problematic Use of Social Media and Quality of Life Among People With Schizophrenia in Taiwan: A Longitudinal Study

Psychiatry Investig. 2023 Nov;20(11):1034-1044. doi: 10.30773/pi.2023.0169. Epub 2023 Nov 21.


Objective: Problematic use of social media (PUSM) may affect sleep quality and self-stigma in people with schizophrenia and consequently reduce their quality of life (QoL). This longitudinal study investigated if sleep quality and self-stigma mediated relationships between PUSM and QoL.

Methods: One-hundred-and-ninety-three outpatients with schizophrenia were recruited from a psychiatric center in Taiwan from April 2019 to August 2021 and participated in a longitudinal study at intervals of three months between measurements. QoL was assessed using the World Health Organization Quality of Life Questionnaire Brief Version; sleep quality using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index; self-stigma using the Self-Stigma Scale-Short; and PUSM using the Bergen Social Media Addiction Scale. Via SPSS 20.0, general estimating equation models assessed temporal associations between variables. Via R software, mediating effects of self-stigma and sleep quality were examined through Monte Carlo simulations with 20,000 repetitions.

Results: Mean scores of physical, psychological, social and environmental QoL ranged from 11.86 to 13.02. Mean scores of sleep quality and self-stigma were 9.1±4.5 and 2.2±0.8, respectively. Sleep quality and self-stigma were directly related to QoL (p<0.001) and mediated indirect relationships between PUSM and all components of QoL with a range of 95% confidence intervals spanning from -0.0591 to -0.0107 for physical QoL; -0.0564 to -0.0095 for psychological QoL; -0.0292 to -0.0035 for social QoL; and -0.0357 to -0.0052 for environmental QoL.

Conclusion: Sleep quality and self-stigma mediated relationships between PUSM and QoL in people with schizophrenia. Developing interventions targeting PUSM, sleep, and self-stigma may help improve QoL in people with schizophrenia.

Keywords: Addictive behaviors; Internet addiction disorder; Schizophrenia; Social media addictions; Stereotyping; Technology addiction.