Get access

Naming psychosis: the Hong Kong experience


Dr Cindy P.-Y. Chiu, Department of Psychiatry, The University of Hong Kong, 2/F, New Clinical Building, Queen Mary Hospital, 102, Pokfulam Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong. Email:


Aim: Schizophrenia translates in Chinese as ‘Mind Split Disease’ which is heavily stigmatizing. The narrow conceptualization for schizophrenia alone was insufficient, in the context of early detection and intervention for psychosis. The need for an effective Chinese translation for psychotic disorders was imminent upon the launch of the Early Assessment Service for Young People with Psychosis in Hong Kong, where public awareness strategies had to be built upon effective communication of the disorder.

Methods:Si Jue Shi Tiao’, the new term for psychosis, described ‘thought and perceptual dysregulation’. This new terminology and concept was strategically introduced to the local community.

Results: The term ‘Si Jue Shi Tiao’ was taken up well locally and had demonstrated interactions within the Chinese and East Asian communities. The public has taken in the broader concept of psychosis, in contrary to the previous concept of schizophrenia per se.

Conclusions: In Hong Kong, the restrictive view of perceiving psychotic disorders as schizophrenia was broadened upon the introduction of a more embracing, less stigmatizing term ‘Si Jue Shi Tiao’. Effective establishment of this term to the local vocabulary allowed a basis for communication as well as public education work. Further evaluation is necessary to determine the effectiveness of the naming and to guide further public awareness strategies.