Health consumers' social media adoption behaviours in Australia

Health Informatics J. 2021 Apr-Jun;27(2):14604582211009917. doi: 10.1177/14604582211009917.


This research identifies the underlying drivers impacting on health consumers' social media usage and acceptance behaviours using technology acceptance model (TAM) as the theoretical lens. A cross-sectional survey of 265 health consumers was conducted through a mall intercept technique. Participants in the survey were over the age of 18 and had access to a public or private healthcare service provider. The data were analysed using structural equation modelling (SEM). The major findings show that perceived ease of use, privacy threat, information quality, social influence and self-efficacy influence health consumers' social media adoption behaviours. Perceived usefulness was not found to affect health consumers' social media adoption behaviours. The moderation analysis showed that influences of privacy threats are non-significant for mature age respondents and non-frequent users of social media. This study's findings have important implications for designing social media strategies for the healthcare industry. The drivers that positively impact on health consumers' social media usages can be integrated into meaningful strategies to capture the attention of potential consumers. They need to be educated, informed and engaged as health consumers so that they employ social media effectively to their advantage.

Keywords: healthcare; online health communication; patient empowerment; patient engagement; social media; technology adoption model.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Privacy
  • Social Media*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires