My PhD thesis is based on this research, which consists of two studies.
Study 1: How trust is formed between users in online health communities
The aim of the study is to understand the trust development between users in text-based relationship-oriented online health communities. Particularly, what factors influence users’ trust formation and how trust may induce trust-related behavioral intentions in health online communities. The results indicate that there are three processes involved in how a forum user assesses postings and forms trust in online health forums.
A summary of Study 1 can be downloaded here.
Study 2: How patients with different medical conditions use users in online health communities
The second study intends to investigate the use of online health communities. Extending the findings from Study 1, Study 2 aims to verify whether the use of online health forums differs among people with different medical condition. The study yields two major findings: 1) how patients strategise their use of online health forums under the influence of their medical conditions; 2) how users evaluate the credibility of health information generated by other users.
A summary of Study 2 can be downloaded here.
Special thanks to participating online health forums for their administration and users' generous support: