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Re-Examining the Impact of Multidimensional Trust on Patients’ Online Medical Consultation Service Continuance Decision

Ming Yang (), Jinglu Jiang (), Melody Kiang () and Fangyun Yuan ()
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Ming Yang: Central University of Finance and Economics
Jinglu Jiang: SUNY-Binghamton University
Melody Kiang: California State University
Fangyun Yuan: Central University of Finance and Economics

Information Systems Frontiers, 2022, vol. 24, issue 3, No 14, 983-1007

Abstract: Abstract Recent years have witnessed the rapid growth of an emerging digital healthcare service – online medical consultation (OMC). Despite its popularity, many OMC platforms have encountered issues in initial adoption and continuance use among patients. We posit that many of the hesitation and resistance may arise from a lack of trust toward OMC, which is a complex phenomenon that involves both interpersonal and technological-oriented considerations. This study seeks to clarify the conceptualization of online trust in the context of OMC. It compares two plausible explanations (i.e., trust as a direct cause vs. trust as a moderator) regarding how interpersonal and technological trust contributes to the service continuance decision in OMC. By contextualizing the valence framework, we identify the critical factors in making the risk-benefit assessment of patients’ OMC decision. We conduct an online survey of 365 experienced OMC users and analyze our structural model using a partial least square approach. Our results show that the multidimensional conceptualization approach, which incorporates both interpersonal and technological aspects of trust, is superior to the unitary approach. Besides, our findings suggest that the role trust plays in determining service continuance decisions in OMC is more of a direct cause than a qualifier that buffers the impacts of risk-benefit evaluation. We believe the findings can help both researchers and practitioners recognize the multidimensional perspective of trust and better understand the role trust plays in OMC and other online healthcare delivery problems.

Keywords: Online trust; Online healthcare consultation; Digital platform; Multidimensionality; Valence framework; Partial least square (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1007/s10796-021-10117-9

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