HEALTH CRISES AND VIRTUAL PATIENT COMMUNITIES: WHAT INFLUENCE DO THESE COMMUNITIES HAVE ON PATIENT-MEMBERS’ TRUST IN THEIR REGULAR DOCTOR?

Authors

  • Brice ISSEKI Université Sorbonne Paris Nord, CEPN
  • Pierre BUFFAZ EDC Paris Business School, OCRE

Keywords:

virtual health community, covid 19, trust, patient – doctor relationship, netnography

Abstract

In the context of a health crisis, this article explores the influence of a virtual patient community on patients’ trust in their usual doctor. To achieve this objective, an exploratory study based on a netnographic approach was carried out with a virtual health community centred on coping with covid 19 and made up entirely of patients. A total of 1,155 online conversations from 667 members were collected and analysed, first by non-participant floating observation, then by thematic content analysis following top-down classification of text segments using IRaMuTeQ software. The results show that, in the context of a health crisis, membership of the virtual community studied does not seem to influence the trust of patients in their usual doctor, whereas we might have thought that patients’ legitimate fears about their own illness and about the doctors’ lack of knowledge would have had an impact. Instead, the community appears to be an empathetic space for discussion, information, and support directed towards helping each other to overcome the health crisis and its effects. This article therefore adds to the literature on trust in the patient – physician relationship by showing that this trust would not necessarily be undermined or modified by patients’ interactions with peers within a virtual patient community. In addition, this research suggests that doctors need to approach their patients differently, since some of them are likely to breach the exclusivity of the bilateral medical relationship by gathering information and support from other patients.

Published

2023-12-29

How to Cite

Brice ISSEKI, & Pierre BUFFAZ. (2023). HEALTH CRISES AND VIRTUAL PATIENT COMMUNITIES: WHAT INFLUENCE DO THESE COMMUNITIES HAVE ON PATIENT-MEMBERS’ TRUST IN THEIR REGULAR DOCTOR?. Revue Internationale De Psychosociologie Et De Gestion Des Comportements Organisationnels, 29(79), 33. Retrieved from https://journaleska.com/index.php/ripco/article/view/9098

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Section

Articles