Acceptability and experience of a smartphone symptom monitoring app for people with psychosis in China (YouXin): a qualitative study.

Xiaolong Zhang, Shon Lewis, Xu Chen, Jiaojiao Zhou, Xingyu Wang, Sandra Bucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Access to high-quality mental healthcare remains challenging for people with psychosis globally, including China. Smartphone-based symptom monitoring has the potential to support scalable mental healthcare. However, no such tool, until now, has been developed and evaluated for people with psychosis in China. This study investigated the acceptability and the experience of using a symptom self-monitoring smartphone app (YouXin) specifically developed for people with psychosis in China.

Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 participants with psychosis to explore the acceptability of YouXin. Participants were recruited from the non-randomised feasibility study that tested the validity, feasibility, acceptability and safety of the YouXin app. Data analysis was guided by the theoretical framework of acceptability.

Results: Most participants felt the app was acceptable and easy to use, and no unbearable burdens or opportunity costs were reported. Participants found completing the self-monitoring app rewarding and experienced a sense of achievement. Privacy and data security were not major concerns for participants, largely due to trust in their treating hospital around data protection. Participants found the app easy to use and attributed this to the training provided at the beginning of the study. A few participants said they had built some form of relationship with the app and would miss the app when the study finished.

Conclusions: The YouXin app is acceptable for symptom self-monitoring in people with experience of psychosis in China. Participants gained greater insights about their symptoms by using the YouXin app. As we only collected retrospective acceptability in this study, future studies are warranted to assess hypothetical acceptability before the commencement of study to provide a more comprehensive understanding of implementation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - 9 Apr 2024


  • Psychosis
  • remote monitoring
  • digital mental health
  • acceptability
  • feasibility study


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