Factors driving users’ engagement in patient social network systems

Ira Puspitasari, Shukor Sanim Mohd Fauzi, Cheng Yuan Ho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Participatory medicine and e-health help to promote health literacy among non-medical professionals. Users of e-health systems actively participate in a patient social network system (PSNS) to share health information and experiences with other users with similar health conditions. Users’ activities provide valuable healthcare resources to develop effective participatory medicine between patients, caregivers, and medical professionals. This study aims to investigate the factors of patients’ engagement in a PSNS by integrating and modifying an existing behavioral model and information system model (i.e., affective events theory (AET) and self-determination theory (SDT)). The AET is used to model the structure, the affective aspects of the driven behavior, and actual affective manifestation. The SDT is used to model interest and its relations with behavior. The data analysis and model testing are based on structural equation modeling, using responses from 428 users. The results indicate that interest and empathy promote users’ engagement in a PSNS. The findings from this study suggest recommendations to further promote users’ participation in a PSNS from the sociotechnical perspective, which include sensitizing and constructive engagement features. Furthermore, the data generated from a user’s participation in a PSNS could contribute to the study of clinical manifestations of disease, especially an emerging disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • Affective events theory
  • Participatory medicine
  • Patient social network system
  • Self-determination theory


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