A Study Exploring the Relationship between Mobile Phone Use, Sleep and Depression

Participant Information Sheet


Study Title: A Study Exploring the Relationship between Mobile Phone Use, Sleep and Depression


Researcher: Lewis Hargreaves Pearson

ERGO number: 54743                                                                      


You are being invited to take part in the above research study. To help you decide whether you would like to take part or not, it is important that you understand why the research is being done and what it will involve. Please read the information below carefully and ask questions if anything is not clear or you would like more information before you decide to take part in this research.  You may like to discuss it with others but it is up to you to decide whether or not to take part. If you are happy to participate you will be asked to sign a consent form.



What is the research about?


This research is a student undergraduate project. This project is about the impact mobile phone use can have on sleep and psychological well-being. Smartphones are becoming increasingly and widely used among young adults this has led to questioning if such use can affect components of our psychological well being such as depressive symptoms and sleep quality. The objective of this study is to investigate if mobile phone usage is associated with poorer sleep quality and higher levels of depression in students.



Why have I been asked to participate?


Psychology students over the age of 18 and registered on eFolio can participate in the study.



What will happen to me if I take part?


You will be asked some demographic information and will then be asked to answer a question on where you keep your mobile phone when you sleep. You will then take three questionnaires in the following sequence: The Smartphone Addiction Scale questionnaire, followed by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index questionnaire, and finally the Patient Health questionnaire. Completing the study survey should take no more than 30 minutes.



Are there any benefits in my taking part?


If you are a Psychology student studying at the University of Southampton, you will be rewarded 4 research credits for your participation.



Are there any risks involved?


There are no physical risks to participants however answering questions concerning your health may cause some distress. If you do feel any discomfort or distress please contact the University of Southampton Enabling Services (023 8059 7726, enable@soton.ac.uk) or your GP. In addition, links to self-help and NHS support pages will be provided on the debrief form after completing the questionnaires.


Enabling Services Self Help Guides: http://www.selfhelpguides.ntw.nhs.uk/southampton/

NHS Mental Health and Well-being support: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/low-mood-and-depression/

Nightline: http://southampton.nightline.ac.uk/ (023 8059 5236)



What data will be collected?


Demographic information (e.g. gender, age, ethnicity) will be collected as well as data concerning where you keep your mobile phone at night. Data will be collected from the three questionnaires concerning your mobile phone usage, your sleep quality, and your current levels of depression. All data will remain anonymous and be stored with password protection on iSurvey and an encrypted hard drive that only the researcher has access to.



Will my participation be confidential?


Your participation and the information collected about you during the course of the research will be kept strictly confidential.


Only members of the research team and responsible members of the University of Southampton may be given access to data about you for monitoring purposes and/or to carry out an audit of the study to ensure that the research is complying with applicable regulations. Individuals from regulatory authorities (people who check that we are carrying out the study correctly) may require access to your data. All of these people have a duty to keep your information, as a research participant, strictly confidential.


All data collected will be anonymous. Raw data will be stored on iSurvey which is password protected. All downloaded data will be stored on the researcher’s personal hard drive which is encrypted.



Do I have to take part?


No, it is entirely up to you to decide whether or not to take part. If you decide you want to take part, you will need to tick the consent box presented at the bottom of the screen indicating your consent to participate.



What happens if I change my mind?

You have the right to change your mind and withdraw at any time without giving a reason and without your participant rights being affected. You may withdraw from the study at any point up until you have submitted your questionnaires. To withdraw simply close the web browser you are using. Please note that as data is anonymous, your data cannot be removed from the dataset after you have submitted.



What will happen to the results of the research?


Your personal details will remain strictly confidential. Research findings made available in any reports or publications will not include information that can directly identify you without your specific consent. The results of this research will be written up, if you would like a copy of the finished publication please contact the researcher.



Where can I get more information?


If you wish to find out more about the research, please feel free to get in touch with the researcher: Lewis Hargreaves Pearson lehp1g17@soton.ac.uk.



What happens if there is a problem?


If you have a concern about any aspect of this study, you should speak to the researchers who will do their best to answer your questions.


If you remain unhappy or have a complaint about any aspect of this study, please contact the University of Southampton Research Integrity and Governance Manager (023 8059 5058, rgoinfo@soton.ac.uk).



Data Protection Privacy Notice


The University of Southampton conducts research to the highest standards of research integrity. As a publicly-funded organisation, the University has to ensure that it is in the public interest when we use personally-identifiable information about people who have agreed to take part in research.  This means that when you agree to take part in a research study, we will use information about you in the ways needed, and for the purposes specified, to conduct and complete the research project. Under data protection law, ‘Personal data’ means any information that relates to and is capable of identifying a living individual. The University’s data protection policy governing the use of personal data by the University can be found on its website (https://www.southampton.ac.uk/legalservices/what-we-do/data-protection-and-foi.page).


This Participant Information Sheet tells you what data will be collected for this project and whether this includes any personal data. Please ask the research team if you have any questions or are unclear what data is being collected about you.


Our privacy notice for research participants provides more information on how the University of Southampton collects and uses your personal data when you take part in one of our research projects and can be found at http://www.southampton.ac.uk/assets/sharepoint/intranet/ls/Public/Research%20and%20Integrity%20Privacy%20Notice/Privacy%20Notice%20for%20Research%20Participants.pdf


Any personal data we collect in this study will be used only for the purposes of carrying out our research and will be handled according to the University’s policies in line with data protection law. If any personal data is used from which you can be identified directly, it will not be disclosed to anyone else without your consent unless the University of Southampton is required by law to disclose it.


Data protection law requires us to have a valid legal reason (‘lawful basis’) to process and use your Personal data. The lawful basis for processing personal information in this research study is for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest. Personal data collected for research will not be used for any other purpose.


For the purposes of data protection law, the University of Southampton is the ‘Data Controller’ for this study, which means that we are responsible for looking after your information and using it properly. The University of Southampton will keep identifiable information about you for 10 years after the study has finished after which time any link between you and your information will be removed.


To safeguard your rights, we will use the minimum personal data necessary to achieve our research study objectives. Your data protection rights – such as to access, change, or transfer such information - may be limited, however, in order for the research output to be reliable and accurate. The University will not do anything with your personal data that you would not reasonably expect.


If you have any questions about how your personal data is used, or wish to exercise any of your rights, please consult the University’s data protection webpage (https://www.southampton.ac.uk/legalservices/what-we-do/data-protection-and-foi.page) where you can make a request using our online form. If you need further assistance, please contact the University’s Data Protection Officer (data.protection@soton.ac.uk).


All data collected will remain anonymous.


Thank you.




I have read and understood the information about this study.  In consenting, I understand that my legal rights are not affected. I also understand that data collected as part of this research will be kept confidential and that published results will maintain that confidentiality. I finally understand that if I have any questions about my rights as a participant in this research, or if I feel that I have been placed at risk, I may contact the University of Southampton Research Integrity and Governance Manager (023 8059 5058, rgoinfo@soton.ac.uk).

I certify that I am 18 years or older. I have read the above consent form and I give consent to participate in the above described research.