Background: Digital technology has the potential to improve outcomes for people with psychosis. However, research to date has largely ignored service user views on digital health interventions (DHIs).
Objectives: We explored early psychosis service users’ subjective views on DHIs.
Methods: Framework analysis was undertaken with data from 21 semi-structured interviews with people registered with early intervention for psychosis services. Robust measures were used to develop a stable framework, including member-checking, triangulation, independent verification of themes, and consensus meetings.
Results: Four themes were established a priori: acceptability of technology in psychosis and mental health; technology can increase access to, and augment, mental health support; barriers to adopting DHIs; concerns about the management of data protection, privacy, risk and security of information. Two themes were generated a posteriori: blending DHIs with face-to-face treatment and empowerment, control and choice. DHIs were also viewed as potentially de-stigmatising, overcoming barriers faced within traditional service settings, facilitating communication and empowering service users to take active control of their healthcare.
Conclusions: In the first study of its kind, early psychosis service users’ were largely positive about the potential use of DHIs supporting and managing mental health. Overall, service users felt that DHIs were a progressive, modern and relevant platform for healthcare delivery. Concerns were expressed around privacy and data security, as well as practical barriers inherent within DHIs, which require further attention. Future research should explore whether findings are transferrable to other service user groups, other technology delivery formats, across a range of treatment modalities.