How COVID-19 Affects the Willingness of the Elderly to Continue to Use the Online Health Community
A Longitudinal Survey release_s4crr47zhnbivbiw2alt6f4bfq

by Yiming Ma, Yadi Gu, Wenjia Hong, Zhao Shu Ping, Changyong Liang, Dongxiao Gu

Published in Journal of Organizational and End User Computing by IGI Global.

2022   Volume 34, p1-17

Abstract

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the governments of different countries adopted, such as locking down cities and restricting travel and social contact. Online health communities (OHCs) with specialized physicians have become an important way for the elderly to access health information and social support, which has expanded their use since the outbreak. This paper examines the factors influencing elderly people's behavior in terms of the continuous use of OHCs from a social support perspective, to understand the impact of public health emergencies. Research collected data from March to April 2019, February 2020, and August 2021, in China. A total of 189 samples were collected and analyzed by using SmartPLS. The results show that (1) social support to the elderly during different stages has different influences on their sense of community and (2) the influence of the sense of community on the intention to continuously use OHCs also seems to change over time. The results of this study provide important implications for research and practice related to both OHCs and COVID-19.
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