Information Seeking in Online Healthcare Communities: The Dual Influence From Social Self and Personal Self - 2017


The use of online healthcare communities to amass health-connected data and cut back uncertainty over diseases is currently hampered by the dearth of understanding of how health information-seeking behavior will be stimulated in such environments. By drawing upon the theoretical notion of social self and private self, and conducting a field survey among a hundred and one on-line healthcare community users, this study investigates how social identity in on-line healthcare communities and individual users' perceived disease severity jointly influence the health info-seeking propensity. This study contributes to the literature on health information seeking by investigating the influence of social self (social identity), personal self (perceived disease severity), and their interplay in online communities. The findings can guide healthcare providers and community managers in formulating strategic plans for promoting health information-seeking behavior.

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