Online health communities (OHCs) provide patients with chronic diseases with an alternative physician-patient communication platform. However, under the context of text-only communication, although the use of OHCs to enable self-management has attracted scholarly and practical attention, the role of linguistic features pertaining to online physician-patient communication in improving patient compliance has been neglected. Based on communication accommodation theory, we examine the effects of convergent linguistic features on patients’ satisfaction and compliance, along with the contingent roles of physicians’ titles and complications. Results shows that physician-patient convergence of semantic and stylistic features positively affects patient satisfaction, in turn increasing compliance. The physician’s title weakens the effect of convergent language concreteness but strengthens the effect of convergent emotional intensity on patient satisfaction. Complications negatively affect the relationship between satisfaction and compliance. These findings provide further insight into the literature regarding communication accommodation theory and offer a practical guide to physician-patient communication skills.


Paper Number 1722; Track Healthcare; Complete Paper



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