Medical tourism continues to expand globally. Many consumers have to rely heavily on online information, given geographical distances and unfamiliarity of a different healthcare system. Yet the quality of information is mixed at best. Few studies have examined factors that can impact trust in healthcare websites, organizations and doctors. In light of the popularity in having a cosmetic surgery in South Korea, we conducted lab experiments using 80 business school students in Bangkok, Thailand. Given the uncertainty of information accuracy and credibility, medical tourists are strongly influenced by social influence, especially by those close to them. Social influence also affects their trust in cosmetic surgery hospitals, doctors, and websites. Furthermore, certain website features and self-efficacy of online searching influence the trust in hospitals, doctors, and websites.
Ractham, Peter; Nakayama, Makoto; and Chen, Charlie C., "Trust In Online Medical Tourism Information: Having Cosmetic Surgery In South Korea" (2013). ICEB 2013 Proceedings (Singapore). 1.