Shared Minds: How Patients Use Collaborative Information Sharing via Social Media Platforms

Production and Operations Management, Forthcoming

38 Pages Posted: 8 Oct 2012 Last revised: 10 May 2018

See all articles by Lu (Lucy) Yan

Lu (Lucy) Yan

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Operation & Decision Technologies

Xiangbin Yan

Harbin Institute of Technology - School of Management

Yong Tan

University of Washington - Michael G. Foster School of Business

Sherry Sun

Independent

Date Written: May 4, 2018

Abstract

Despite our understanding that social media and online healthcare communities can help to eliminate health information asymmetry and improve patients’ self-care engagement, we have yet to understand what happens when patients have access to others’ health data and how patients’ access to these shared experiences and opinions influence their health knowledge and perceived treatment outcome. In this paper, we apply social information processing theory and incorporate (1) uncertainty of a treatment, (2) information exposure, and (3) credibility of the information source into patients’ information evaluation function to assess how patients utilize shared health information and experiences. An empirical model, which combines various aspects of patients’ firsthand experiences about treatments into a single construct, yields empirical evidence that patients’ perceived treatment outcome is prone to social influence from other patients’ shared experiences. By disaggregating the sources of social influence, we find that social influence created by generalized others in the community outweighs that by familiar others of one’s intimate social group. In addition, we find that other factors, such as positive sentiment in comments and patients’ prior experiences, also affect patients’ perceived treatment outcome. Based on our findings, implications for health promotion and health behaviors are presented.

Keywords: online healthcare community, treatment reviews, experiential information, social information processing theory, latent variable model

Suggested Citation

Yan, Lu (Lucy) and Yan, Xiangbin and Tan, Yong and Sun, Sherry, Shared Minds: How Patients Use Collaborative Information Sharing via Social Media Platforms (May 4, 2018). Production and Operations Management, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2158417 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2158417

Lu (Lucy) Yan (Contact Author)

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Operation & Decision Technologies ( email )

Department of Operations and Decision Technologies
1309 E. Tenth Street
Bloomington, IN 47401
United States

Xiangbin Yan

Harbin Institute of Technology - School of Management ( email )

Heilongjiang
China

Yong Tan

University of Washington - Michael G. Foster School of Business ( email )

Box 353226
Seattle, WA 98195-3226
United States

Sherry Sun

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

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