Evaluation of a Systematic Design for a Virtual Patient Community

Authors

  • Jan Marco Leimeister,

    Corresponding author
    1. A senior researcher and Assistant Professor in Information Systems at Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM), Munich, Germany. He is responsible for the Ubiquitous Commerce & Ubiquitous Applications Research Group and supervises several company and publicly funded research projects. His research interests are virtual communities, information management, IT adoption and IT usage, and ubiquitous/mobile computing in various application areas.
    • Address: TUM - Technische Universität München, Wirtschaftsinformatik (I17) / Information Systems, Boltzmannstr. 3, D 85748 Garching bei München, Germany

      Address: Technische Universität München, Lehrstuhl für Wirtschaftsinformatik (I17) / Chair for Information Systems, Boltzmannstr. 3, D 85748 Garching bei München, Germany

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  • Helmut Krcmar

    Corresponding author
    1. The Chair for Information Systems at the Department of Informatics, Technische Universitaet Muenchen, in Munich, Germany. His research interests include Information and Knowledge Management, IT-enabled Value webs, Service Management, Computer Supported Cooperative Work, and Information Systems in Health Care and eGovernment.
    • Address: TUM - Technische Universität München, Wirtschaftsinformatik (I17) / Information Systems, Boltzmannstr. 3, D 85748 Garching bei München, Germany

      Address: Technische Universität München, Lehrstuhl für Wirtschaftsinformatik (I17) / Chair for Information Systems, Boltzmannstr. 3, D 85748 Garching bei München, Germany

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Abstract

Virtual Communities (VCs) offer ubiquitous access to information and exchange possibilities for people in similar situations, which is especially valuable for patients with chronic / life-threatening diseases. However, it is seldom considered possible to create VCs systematically. This article describes the evaluation of the design elements and factors that contributed to the success of the VC krebsgemeinschaft.de (a VC for cancer patients in the German-speaking internet), by assessing user acceptance and usage. Additionally, the existence of trust (a constituent element of working VCs) in krebsgemeinschaft.de is addressed. Based on these criteria, we empirically verify the chosen design components and generate insights into the systematic development and operation of VCs in general and VCs for patients in the German healthcare system in particular.

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