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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

Patient engagement in online community: a mediation path

Published: May 28, 2019


Giuseppe Cappiello, UniversitĂ  di Bologna; Marco Visentin, University of Bologna


medical; online; mediation


This work intends to verify how online communities affect the intention to use a medical centre (MC). Adopting a mediation model, we found that participation to a MC’s blog develops into trust toward the web platform determining intentions to choose the MC. In the field of public services, we are witnessing significant changes both on the regulatory and on the managerial levels. The factor that pushed the most towards change was probably the technological innovation that allows low-cost solutions not previously available. An example in this sense are the online platforms used to involve citizens in collective decisions. In the case of medical services, the problem becomes more complicated due to the distance from the information point of view between the doctor and the patient. In this sector, online communities play a very important role because they increase the amount of information available to the patient, allow to tell the stories of those who have already gone in the same situation, make more transparent the relationships between the various players involved.