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Open AccessArticle

Mature or Emerging? The Impact of Treatment-Related Internet Health Information Seeking on Patients’ Trust in Physicians

1
School of Economics and Management, Beijing Jiaotong University, No. 3 Shangyuancun, Haidian District, Beijing 100044, China
2
Rochester Institute of Technology, Saunders College of Business, 107 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY 14623-5608, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(9), 1855; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15091855
Received: 30 July 2018 / Revised: 21 August 2018 / Accepted: 22 August 2018 / Published: 28 August 2018
Years of clinical trials have proven the maturity and safety of certain treatments, however, some of these mature treatments may not be highly effective. Several treatments have emerged through technological innovations, but their long-term safety, efficacy, and adverse effects remain unknown. At present, many patients seek information related to their treatments on the Internet, which may impact their attitudes towards different treatments and their trust in physicians. In this study, a research model was developed to examine how patients’ trust in their physicians is influenced by related online information on mature or emerging treatments. The hypotheses were tested using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and structural equation modelling (SEM). A total of 336 valid responses were collected through an online survey. Mature treatments related health information was found to significantly improve patients’ trust. Thus, physicians should pay more attention to mature treatments, and encourage their patients to seek related information online. Moreover, the quality of online information should be developed further to increase patients’ satisfaction. Physicians should also consider their patients’ psychological safety in communication with patients to strengthen their trust. View Full-Text
Keywords: Internet health information seeking; treatments; perceived Internet health information quality; psychological safety; trust in physicians Internet health information seeking; treatments; perceived Internet health information quality; psychological safety; trust in physicians
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Zhang, R.; Lu, X.; Wu, W.; Shang, X.; Liu, M. Mature or Emerging? The Impact of Treatment-Related Internet Health Information Seeking on Patients’ Trust in Physicians. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1855.

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