To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Cognitive mechanisms underlying interaction and contribution in online health communities: the perspectives of doctors and patients

Ping Wang (School of Information Management, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China) (Center for the Studies of Information Resources, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China)
Jia Wang (School of Information Management, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China)
Qiao Li (School of Information Management, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China)

Aslib Journal of Information Management

ISSN: 2050-3806

Article publication date: 24 February 2021

Abstract

Purpose

Active interaction and knowledge contribution are vital yet challenging elements of the sustainable development of online health communities (OHCs). To investigate the cognitive mechanisms underlying these behaviours in doctors' and patients' use of OHCs, this study develops a theoretical model to examine the relationships among cognitive modes, patterns of interaction, perceived usefulness, and contribution behaviour and the impact of user identity on these relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

To test the research hypotheses, structural equation modelling and multiple-group analysis were used to analyse survey data from 207 doctors and 213 patients.

Findings

The results indicate that dual processes and perceived usefulness are the key cognitive antecedents of interaction and knowledge contribution, respectively. However, the correlation of the rational mode and instrumental interaction is significantly stronger in the doctors' group than in the patients' group, while a stronger correlation between the experiential mode and instrumental interaction is observed in the patients' group.

Practical implications

These findings support the development of information and system strategies to support the operation of dual processes underlying doctors' and patients' instrumental and affective interactions, facilitate evaluation and sense-making of interaction activities, and motivate knowledge contribution.

Originality/value

This study uncovers the invariance and variability in the relationships between salient cognitive activities and behavioural responses in doctors' and patients' use of OHCs and the impact of user identity on variability.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge reviewers, editors, and all participants for their contribution to the improvement of this study. Funding: This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China [No. 71774121] and [No. 72074171].

Citation

Wang, P., Wang, J. and Li, Q. (2021), "Cognitive mechanisms underlying interaction and contribution in online health communities: the perspectives of doctors and patients", Aslib Journal of Information Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/AJIM-03-2020-0063

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited