Online health consultation platforms have become increasingly popular, which provides a low-search-cost platform for health consumers. In this study, we examine how physicians’ emotional support (i.e., encouragement, politeness, and benevolence) during the online consultation process influences physicians’ online reputation. Additionally, we investigate how physicians’ communication frequency moderates the relationships above. We collected data from a publicly available online health consultation platform (www.haodf.com) to test the research model. The findings indicate that encouragement, politeness, and benevolence exhibit positive effects on physicians’ online reputation. Likewise, communication frequency moderates the relationship between emotional support and physicians’ online reputation. Interestingly, increased communication is not necessarily viewed positively by patients. Our findings can serve to inform physicians’ online reputation-building strategies and advance social support research by explicating the impact of emotional support on physicians’ reputation.
Liu, Libo; Cui, Tingru; and Lederman, Reeva, "Does the Emotional Support Doctors Give Patients Influence Doctors’ Online Reputation?" (2021). PACIS 2021 Proceedings. 94.
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