The Impact of Physician’s Login Behavior on Patients’ Search and Decision in OHCs

  • Qin Chen
  • Xiangbin YanEmail author
  • Tingting Zhang
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11924)


With the dramatic development of Web2.0, the occurrence of online health communities (OHCs) appeals to increasing number of patients and physicians to involve in this type of healthcare platform. Extant literatures have primarily discussed the various influential factors of patients’ choices in OHCs. However, scant studies have been conducted to explore the effect of physicians’ login behavior on patients’ choices, and the roles of physicians’ online reputation and offline reputation. Drawing on the signaling theory, a two-equation model was proposed and tested using collected data from a Chinese OHC to examine the effects of physician’s login behavior on patients’ search and decision, and the moderation effects of physician’s online reputation and offline reputation. The results indicate that physicians’ login behavior has positive effects on patients’ search and decision. Furthermore, physicians’ online reputation and offline reputation moderate these positive relationships. Especially, the moderation effect of offline reputation is higher than online reputation in the search stage, and lower in the decision stage. This study not only enriches the literature on patient behavior, but also advances the understanding of physicians’ login behavior in OHCs. The results have implications for the management of OHCs.


Online health community Login behavior Search Decision Online reputation Offline reputation 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Donlinks School of Economics and ManagementUniversity of Science and TechnologyBeijingChina

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