Virtual healthcare communities are receiving increasing attention as a promising platform to facilitate exchange of social support for their members. However, despite the large number of registered members of virtual healthcare communities, many members do not actively use their community. Some are reluctant to ask for help and others even do not visit the community frequently. Thus motivated, this study uses lenses of health belief model and social identity theory to model the influential factors on virtual healthcare community members’ social support seeking behaviors. Social identity is treated as a multidimensional construct with cognitive, emotional and evaluative components. The influence of the three social identity components on perceived benefits and barriers of seeking social support in virtual healthcare community is discussed. Perceived susceptibility and perceived severity of a health problem are hypothesized to influence social support seeking behaviors too.
LIU, Na and CHAN, Hock Chuan, "Understanding the Influence of Social Identity on Social Support Seeking Behaviors in Virtual Healthcare Community" (2010). ICIS 2010 Proceedings. 161.