Exploring Doctors’ Willingness to Provide Online Counseling Services: The Roles of Motivations and Costs
Department of Computer Science, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong, China
School of Business, Western Sydney University, Sydney, NSW 2751, Australia
Department of Business Management, National Taichung University of Science and Technology, Taichung City 404, Taiwan
Department of Leisure Industry and Health Promotion, National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Sciences, Taipei City 112, Taiwan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(1), 110; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17010110
Received: 17 November 2019 / Revised: 12 December 2019 / Accepted: 19 December 2019 / Published: 22 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technological Innovation in Clinical Healthcare and Health Management)
With the impetus of information communication technology (ICT), emerging eHealth has attracted increasing number of doctors’ participation in online health platforms, which provide various potential benefits to doctors. However, previous studies on eHealth have seldom distinguished different service modes provided by doctors. In addition, the bulk of the literature has considered doctors’ motivations based solely on online environments. To fill this gap, this study combines expectancy theory and the Bagozzi, Dholakia, and Basuroy (BDB) model to examine the relationships between anticipated outcomes, performance expectations, and effort intentions from online and offline perspectives. Doctors’ behavioral intentions are further divided into two categories: the willingness to offer free services and paid services. Using SmartPLS, this study conducts structural equation modeling (SEM) to analyze 311 sample data. The results show that extrinsic motivations (i.e., extrinsic rewards, expected relationships, and image) and intrinsic motivation (i.e., a sense of self-worth) significantly influence the desire to serve patients well, which in turn positively affects the willingness to offer free services and the willingness to offer paid services. Moreover, counseling time is confirmed as the main cost, which negatively moderates the relationships between desire and behavioral intentions. The findings provide theoretical insights for eHealth and provide practical suggestions to develop marketing strategies for online health platform providers.