Main Article Content
A significant number (49 %) of Indian users tend to rely on digital media to either access health-related information or use the internet as a precursor to visit a doctor . According to a report by Raheja , "The Internet of Things” (IoT) connection has the potential to change the malfunctioning medical system into a comprehensive, effective, and individualised system. This will allow for a more proactive approach to wellness and overall health, reducing medical expenses through these inclusive practices. Online health communities in India demonstrate significant clout to transform the healthcare industry by empowering patients. They offer a platform to all key stakeholders, that are, the healthcare professionals, patients and even the caregivers alike, to come forth, share their experiences and develop remedies for various issues faced by the healthcare industry.
This paper examines the antecedents involved in the empowerment of patients in Online Health Communities (OHCs) and the outcomes of this in the form of participant compliance. The research additionally examines the moderating impact of certain factors such as the patients’ e-health literacy and health locus of control (HLOC) and the physicians’ paternalism, in examining the relationship between patient empowerment and compliance.
The findings of the research propose a construct or a theoretical model for the numerous factors and moderators associated with the patient’s participation in online health communities. The social support available to patients leads to more empowered patients, ultimately resulting in higher Patient compliance. Further, this patient empowerment, which comprises of sense of autonomy, competence and self-efficacy makes people more compliant. The theoretical construct between patient empowerment and patient compliance, is further moderated by the patients’ e-health literacy and health locus of control (HLOC) and the physicians’ paternalism.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.