Evaluating a Smartphone-Based Symptom Self-Monitoring App for Psychosis in China (YouXin): a Non-Randomised Validity and Feasibility Study with a Mixed-Methods Design

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Abstract

Background: Psychosis causes significant burden globally, including in China, where limited mental health resources hinder access to care. Smartphone-based remote monitoring offers a promising solution. This study aimed to assess validity, feasibility, acceptability, and safety of a symptom self-monitoring smartphone app, YouXin, for people with psychosis in China.
Methods: A pre-registered non-randomised validity and feasibility study with a mixed-methods design. Participants with psychosis were recruited from a major tertiary psychiatric hospital in Beijing, China. Participants utilised the YouXin app to self-monitor psychosis and mood symptoms for four weeks. Feasibility outcomes were recruitment, retention and outcome measures completeness. Active symptom monitoring (ASM) validity was tested against corresponding clinical assessments (PANSS and CDS) using Spearman correlation. Ten participants completed qualitative interviews at study end to explore acceptability of the app and trial procedures.
Results: Feasibility parameters were met. The target recruitment sample of 40 participants was met, with 82.5% completing outcome measures, 60% achieving acceptable ASM engagement (completing >33% of all prompts), and 33% recording sufficient passive monitoring data to extract mobility indicators. Five ASM domains (hallucinations, suspiciousness, guilt feelings, delusions, grandiosity) achieved moderate correlation with clinical assessment. Both quantitative and qualitative evaluation showed high acceptability of YouXin. Clinical measurements indicated no symptom and functional deterioration. No adverse events were reported, suggesting YouXin is safe to use in this clinical population.
Conclusions: The trial feasibility, acceptability and safety parameters were met and a powered efficacy study is indicated. However, refinements are needed to improve ASM validity and increase passive monitoring data completeness.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDigital Health
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2024

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