Investigating the structural and textual characteristics of internet physicians review

Ming Hsin Phoebe Chiu*, Chia Ling Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Internet increases information transparency in several ways, and one way is to allow patients and caregivers access to needed information. It improves the autonomy of medical decision-making, and further creates better physicianpatient communication. Internet physician review, as a type of popular medical and health information, improves patients and caregivers' understanding of doctor selection and supports proactive health decision-making. This study collects Internet physician reviews from two Taiwan-based health information websites - Good Doctor and Health, and DocHos. The analysis framework comprises both structural and textual aspects, each with distinct analytical focuses. The structural analysis includes length of reviews and paragraph structure. T he t extual a nalysis i ncludes n ature o f t he reviews, when in the clinical encounter process is reviewed, intent of the reviews, themes of the review, a nd review s trategies. T his s tudy h opes t o u nderstand t he role a nd function of the Internet physician reviews in the process of health information communication, as well as the applications on physicians' practice of clinical medicine and patients and caregivers' medical decision-making process. It may provide insight into the development of patient-centered rather than institutioncentered evaluation criteria for healthcare quality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-190
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of Educational Media and Library Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Content analysis
  • E-Word-of-Mouth (ewom)
  • Healthcare provider information
  • Internet physicians review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Conservation
  • Information Systems
  • Archaeology
  • Library and Information Sciences


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