The Impact of Self-awareness of Being Observed on Patient Content Generation: An Empirical Examination from a Quasi Experiment

AbstractThough recent research demonstrates the impact of patient generated content on patient outcomes and doctor performance, we still have a limited understanding about how patient content is generated in the first place. In this research, we examine how patients’ self-awareness of being observed by their own doctors in online healthcare platform influences patient generated content, including how much they generate and what they generate. Focusing on a leading online healthcare platform, we construct a panel dataset of patient generated content for a matched set of doctors. We find that patients’ self-awareness of being observed can increase the quantity of patient generated content. Specially, “being observed” leads to more subjective content, while it has no relationship with objective content. Our results also demonstrate that the mechanism of “being observed” benefits the review quantity at the cost of review quality. We also discuss contributions to user generated content and online healthcare.

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