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Problematic internet use, especially in people with substance use disorder, may negatively affect their quality of life (QoL). However, it is unclear whether sleep quality is a key mediator in the association between problematic internet use and QoL among people with substance use disorder.
This study aimed to investigate the relationship between problematic internet use and QoL and how sleep quality may mediate the association between these two variables.
Overall, 319 people (85% male) with substance use disorder (mean age 42.2 years, s.d. 8.9) participated in a cross-sectional study in Taiwan. The Smartphone Application-Based Addiction Scale, Bergan Social Media Addiction Scale, Internet Gaming Disorder-Short Form, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and World Health Organization Quality of Life Questionnaire Brief Version were used.
The prevalence of sleep problems was 56%. There were significant and direct associations between sleep quality and two types of problematic internet use, and between sleep quality and different dimensions of QoL. All types of problematic internet use were significantly and negatively correlated with QoL. Mediated effects of sleep quality in relationships between the different types of problematic internet use and all dimensions of QoL were significant, except for problematic use of social media.
Different types of problematic internet use in people with substance use disorder may be directly associated with reduced QoL. Sleep quality as a significant mediator in this association may be an underlying mechanism to explain pathways between problematic internet use and QoL in this population.
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