Patients on the Web. Analysis of the activity of medical internet portal users. Methodological reflections after an online experiment.

 

Ewelina Sudra

Faculty of Ekonomics and Sociology, University of Lodz,

3/5 POW Street, 90-255 Łódź, Poland

E-mail address: ewelina.m.sudra@gmail.com

 

Ewelina Dzikowska

Faculty of Ekonomics and Sociology, University of Lodz,

3/5 POW Street, 90-255 Łódź, Poland

E-mail address: ewelinadzikowska7@wp.pl

 

Alicja Łaska-Formejster

Faculty of Ekonomics and Sociology, University of Lodz,

3/5 POW Street, 90-255 Łódź, Poland

E-mail address: aformejster@o2.pl

 

ABSTRACT

The aim of the research presented in the article was to analyse the activity of medical internet portal users initiated by positive, negative, and neutral stimuli. The content of the researchers' comments, i.e. the stimuli, was related to three issue areas:

1) communication: the attitude of doctors towards their patients, the way doctors treat their patients,

2) subjectivity: patients’ self-reflection on the character of the relations with doctors and on the way that doctors treat their patients,

3) awareness of patients’ rights: patients’ knowledge of their rights, awareness of infringements of patients’ rights – in the opinions of the patients, exercising of patients’ rights to be awarded damages.

 

            The research was conducted according to experimental research procedures. 20 medical internet portals were qualified as the research sample and randomly selected to be included in the experimental group (10) and the control group (10). Results of the analysis of the collected data suggest that neutral stimuli generated the highest number of user responses, and negative stimuli generated positive user responses more often than negative responses, which was contrary to the initial assumptions. The online experiment allowed for the collection of interesting data that serve to present the relationships between the activity of internet users and forum topics and the stimuli types.

 

Keywords: online experiment, randomisation, activity on the Web, stimulus, post-test

 

 

DOI 10.15503/emeth2014-73-90

full version in pdf