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Electronic word of mouth about medical services

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  • Hinz, Vera
  • Drevs, Florian
  • Wehner, Jürgen

Abstract

Electronic word of mouth (eWOM) about medical services gains growing popularity from the part of health care users, accompanied with a high reluctance of health care providers towards existing platforms, fearing unqualified, negative reviews driven by motives of vengeance. Purpose of this research is to shed light on the characteristics, content, and motives of eWOM about medical services. Using primary and secondary data of 822 reviews, this study shows that reviews about medical services are positive more often than negative, and that altruistic motives override egoistic motives. Furthermore, why a review is written significantly relates to the review's valence (positive, negative), degree of affectivity, and degree of differentiation. Motives and characteristics also affect the review's content, differentiated in four aspects (medical care, relationships, comfort, and processes). Hence this study counters the arguments of many health care providers and offers new insights in an underresearched field, providing implications for both management and future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Hinz, Vera & Drevs, Florian & Wehner, Jürgen, 2012. "Electronic word of mouth about medical services," hche Research Papers 2012/05, University of Hamburg, Hamburg Center for Health Economics (hche).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:hcherp:201205
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    3. Zeelenberg, M. & Pieters, R., 2004. "Beyond valence in customer dissatisfaction : A review and new findings on behavioral responses to regret and disappointment in failed services," Other publications TiSEM 7bfb4aa9-cba7-4786-850d-1, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    4. Leisen, Birgit & Hyman, Michael R., 2004. "Antecedents and consequences of trust in a service provider: The case of primary care physicians," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 57(9), pages 990-999, September.
    5. Zeelenberg, Marcel & Pieters, Rik, 2004. "Beyond valence in customer dissatisfaction: A review and new findings on behavioral responses to regret and disappointment in failed services," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 57(4), pages 445-455, April.
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    Keywords

    Electronic word of mouth; online reviews; health care management; hospitals;

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