Online healthcare communities often experience high churn rates. Our study investigates this phenomenon by integrating the concepts of social stigma, psychological capital, and social identity. Based on survey data from an online community serving lymphoma patients, we found that 1) users’ positive social identity increased their participation and recommendation intentions through enhanced psychological capital empowered by the online community; 2) stigmatized social identity hampered participation and recommendation intentions through decreased psychological capital; 3) users’ personal identity moderated the mediated impacts of positive and stigmatized social identities on participation and recommendation intentions through psychological capital, and 4) participation intention positively influenced recommendation intention. Our study applied the identity theory with a novel approach and offered insights on the development and management of online healthcare communities for both researchers and practitioners.
Feng, Biyi; Li, Xixi; Lin, Lihui; and Gu, Hongfei, "An Identity Perspective on Online Healthcare Communities" (2018). DIGIT 2018 Proceedings. 8.