Background: Patients face difficulties identifying appropriate physicians owing to the sizeable quantity and uneven quality of information in physician rating websites. Therefore, an increasing dependence of consumers on online platforms as a source of information for decision-making has given rise to the need for further research into the quality of information in the form of online physician reviews (OPRs). Methods: Drawing on the signaling theory, this study develops a theoretical model to examine how linguistic signals (affective signals and informative signals) in physician rating websites affect consumers’ decision making. The hypotheses are tested using 5521 physicians’ six-month data drawn from two leading health rating platforms in the U.S (i.e., Healthgrades.com and Vitals.com) during the COVID-19 pandemic. A sentic computing-based sentiment analysis framework is used to implicitly analyze patients’ opinions regarding their treatment choice. Results: The results indicate that negative sentiment, review readability, review depth, review spelling, and information helpfulness play a significant role in inducing patients’ decision-making. The influence of negative sentiment, review depth on patients’ treatment choice was indirectly medi-ated by information helpfulness. Conclusions: This paper is a first step toward the understanding of the linguistic characteristics of information relating to the patient experience, particularly the emerg-ing field of online health behavior and signaling theory. It is also the first effort to our knowledge that employs sentic computing-based sentiment analysis in this context and provides implications for practice.
|Número de artículo||9969|
|Publicación||International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health|
|Estado||Publicada - oct. 2021|
Áreas temáticas de ASJC Scopus
- Salud pública, medioambiental y laboral
- Salud, toxicología y mutagénesis