Understanding the motivators affecting doctors’ contributions in online healthcare communities: professional status as a moderator

Hualong Yang, Helen S. Du, Wei He, Han Qiao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

With the development of e-health, the number of doctors providing consultation services in online healthcare communities (OHCs) is growing. Their aim is to help patients obtain healthcare information and treatment. Since the doctors’ contributions are essential to a sustainable development of OHCs, understanding why doctors contribute to OHCs is crucial. However, the related literature that investigate motivators of doctors’ contribution behaviours in OHCs is scant. OHCs are a type of novel online community through which doctors not only obtain personal compensation but also interact with patients to build their relationship network. Hence, both personal and social motivators may affect doctors’ contributions to OHCs. Based on the theories of self-determination and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, we established an empirical model to explore the effects of reputation, monetary rewards, doctor–patient interaction and professional status. The empirical results show that both personal and social motivators have positive effects on doctors’ contributions to OHCs, and that doctors’ professional status has a moderating effect. These findings help us understand the motivational mechanisms of doctors’ contributions to OHCs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBehaviour and Information Technology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2019

Keywords

  • Online healthcare community
  • doctors’ contributions
  • doctor–patient interaction
  • monetary reward
  • professional status
  • reputation

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