Companion cocreation: improving health service encounters of the elderly

Leticia Suárez-Álvarez (Department of Business Administration, University of Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain)
Ana Suárez-Vázquez (Department of Business Administration, University of Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain)
Ana-Belén del Río-Lanza (Department of Business Administration, University of Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain)

Journal of Services Marketing

ISSN: 0887-6045

Publication date: 3 July 2020



The increase of life expectancy leads to the elderly living with one or more chronic illnesses. Communication between the elderly and the health-care professional is fundamental but can be difficult. For that reason, it is common to find the patient with an accompanying family member in the doctor’s surgery. The purpose of this paper is to analyze one of the possible actions of the companion during the provision of the medical service: the co-creation of value (through its two dimensions: coproduction and value-in-use) and its effects on the satisfaction of both the companion and the elderly patient.


A model has been tested through a system of structural equations using the statistical package EQS 6.2. The sample used is made up of 1,814 informants (907 companions and 907 patients).


The importance of coproduction between the accompanying person and the health-care professional is shown, to obtain greater levels of satisfaction (of the companion and the patient), whereas a negative role is conferred to the dimension value-in-use. This paper shows a positive impact of the satisfaction of the companion on that of the patient.

Practical implications

It is necessary to have health-care professionals who play a proactive role when facilitating the participation in the appointment with the doctor so as not to leave the initiative of participation in the hands of the companions.


Chronic illnesses are an important focal point of medical attention. Good management of the relations between those involved is fundamental for the diagnosis and adherence to treatment.



This work was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness under the 2016-2019 call for R&D projects (ECO2016-76783-00). Secretaría de Estado de Investigación, Desarrollo e Innovación.


Suárez-Álvarez, L., Suárez-Vázquez, A. and del Río-Lanza, A.-B. (2020), "Companion cocreation: improving health service encounters of the elderly", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.

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