This paper aims to provide a conceptual model that elucidates the role of cognitive absorption in explaining behavioural intentions in virtual health communities.
Data were collected from 361 contributing members of virtual health communities from Gauteng, South Africa, using a structured questionnaire. Structural equation modelling using AMOS software was used to analyse the data.
The findings show that cognitive absorption has a significant direct positive influence on content posters’ intentions to continue participating on virtual health community platforms. Cognitive absorption was also found to have an indirect influence on behavioural intentions through its influence on members’ attitude. It was also found to play a mediating role in the influence of perceived usefulness and behavioural intention.
The study shows the value of linking flow theory and the technology acceptance model to provide a comprehensive understanding of behavioural intentions in virtual health community forums.
Managers of virtual health communities need to pay attention to experiential aspects of their sites. Success in ensuring that community members are cognitively absorbed is key to the development of positive attitude and intentions towards virtual health community forums.
Virtual health communities play a new and growing role in the way health-related information and support is offered and accessed by those in need. Despite their importance, not much research has been done to explain the role of consumer experience in member behavioural intentions on such forums. The study contributes to this understanding by demonstrating the value of cognitive absorption in directly explaining users’ attitude and behavioural intentions. The study also sheds light on the role played by cognitive absorption in explaining the influence of perceived usefulness on behavioural intentions.
Mpinganjira, M. (2019), "Cognitive absorption and behavioural intentions in virtual health communities: A focus on content posters", Journal of Systems and Information Technology, Vol. 21 No. 1, pp. 122-145. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSIT-06-2017-0044Download as .RIS
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