Springer Nature

Reliability of a new measure to assess modern screen time in adults

Posted on 2019-10-29 - 17:31
Abstract Background Screen time among adults represents a continuing and growing problem in relation to health behaviors and health outcomes. However, no instrument currently exists in the literature that quantifies the use of modern screen-based devices. The primary purpose of this study was to develop and assess the reliability of a new screen time questionnaire, an instrument designed to quantify use of multiple popular screen-based devices among the US population. Methods An 18-item screen-time questionnaire was created to quantify use of commonly used screen devices (e.g. television, smartphone, tablet) across different time points during the week (e.g. weekday, weeknight, weekend). Test-retest reliability was assessed through intra-class correlation coefficients (ICCs) and standard error of measurement (SEM). The questionnaire was delivered online using Qualtrics and administered through Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk). Results Eighty MTurk workers completed full study participation and were included in the final analyses. All items in the screen time questionnaire showed fair to excellent relative reliability (ICCs = 0.50–0.90; all < 0.000), except for the item inquiring about the use of smartphone during an average weekend day (ICC = 0.16, p = 0.069). The SEM values were large for all screen types across the different periods under study. Conclusions Results from this study suggest this self-administered questionnaire may be used to successfully classify individuals into different categories of screen time use (e.g. high vs. low); however, it is likely that objective measures are needed to increase precision of screen time assessment.


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