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Open AccessArticle

Analysis of Network Structure and Doctor Behaviors in E-Health Communities from a Social-Capital Perspective

by 1 and 2,*
1
School of Management Science, Chengdu University of Technology, No. 1, Dongsan Road, Erxian Bridge, Chenghua District, Chengdu 610059, China
2
Chengdu University of Technology, No.1, Dongsan Road, Erxian Bridge, Chenghua District, Chengdu 610059, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(4), 1136; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17041136
Received: 17 December 2019 / Revised: 5 February 2020 / Accepted: 6 February 2020 / Published: 11 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue E-Health Services)
In tandem with internet development and widespread social media use, e-health communities have begun to emerge in recent years. These communities allow doctors to access forums anywhere, anytime, seek or exchange medical information online, find literature, and so on. This is convenient and can solve some problems for doctors while also promoting doctor communication. This study collected and collated 102 doctors in the “Lilac Forum” and used social network tools to quantify the overall network density, centrality, core–periphery structure, and structural hole indicators of doctors’ information exchange from a social-capital perspective. The results showed that the frequency of interaction between doctors differed because of differences in the identities and participation of doctors in the e-health community. The density of the doctors’ information dissemination network (0.228) and network cohesion (0.610) were relatively high. Thus, the doctors were more closely connected, and information was easily spread. At the same time, doctors with higher professional titles had obvious location characteristics, familiarity and trust, and high levels of reciprocity. They could obtain redundant information in the network and were more likely to influence the behavior of other doctors. This study’s findings provide support for improving information exchange among doctors in e-health communities and improving the service levels of the platforms. View Full-Text
Keywords: social network analysis; information dissemination behavior; social capital; e-health community; interaction frequency social network analysis; information dissemination behavior; social capital; e-health community; interaction frequency
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MDPI and ACS Style

Li, Z.; Xu, X. Analysis of Network Structure and Doctor Behaviors in E-Health Communities from a Social-Capital Perspective. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 1136. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17041136

AMA Style

Li Z, Xu X. Analysis of Network Structure and Doctor Behaviors in E-Health Communities from a Social-Capital Perspective. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(4):1136. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17041136

Chicago/Turabian Style

Li, Zhigang; Xu, Xu. 2020. "Analysis of Network Structure and Doctor Behaviors in E-Health Communities from a Social-Capital Perspective" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 17, no. 4: 1136. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17041136

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