Strategies to Reduce Uncertainty on the Diagnosis Quality in the Context of Virtual Consultation: Reviews of Virtual Consultation Systems
The research literature on virtual consultation is sparse while video consultation between clinician and patient are technically possible and increasingly acceptable. With virtual consultation, people can remotely visit doctors anytime anywhere and access many options of doctors. However, it’s surprising that not so many patients in real life as expected are willing to use such virtual consultation systems in spite of all the above theoretical conveniences. Based on uncertainty reduction theory, this paper investigates the strategies to reduce patients’ uncertainties about the diagnosis quality. The research question is how to reveal doctors’ consultation information to reduce patients’ uncertainty on diagnosis quality in the context of virtual consultation.
A review of existing 12 famous virtual consultation systems will be conducted. A following survey and content analysis of patients’ reviews on these systems will also be conducted regarding doctors’ diagnosis quality. We propose that demonstration of consultation process, review availability and communication naturalness can reduce patients’ uncertainty level of diagnosis quality in the context of virtual consultation.
This paper explores how to design virtual consultation systems to enhance patients’ trust and certainty on diagnosis quality before actual consultation, which shed a light on future research of online consultation quality. The results can practically facilitate healthcare providers to understand patients’ concerns on diagnosis quality of virtual consultation. They can also guide the design of virtual consultation systems industrially to reduce patients’ uncertainties on online consultation, and consequently to attract more people using these systems.
KeywordsUncertainty Communication Healthcare Virtual consultation
- Andreassen, H.K., Trondsen, M., Kummervold, E., Gammon, D., Hjortdahl, P.: Patients who use e-mediated communication with their doctor: new constructions of trust in the patient-doctor relationship. Qual. Health Res. 16(2), 238–248 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1177/1049732305284667CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Berger, C.R.: Uncertain outcome values in predicted relationships uncertainty reduction theory then and now. Hum. Commun. Res. 13(1), 34–38 (1986). https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2958.1986.tb00093.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Berger, C.R., Bradac, J.J.: Language and social knowledge: uncertainty in interpersonal relations. E. Arnold. (1982). http://mun-primo.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/primo_library/libweb/action/display.do?tabs = detailsTab&ct = display&fn = search&doc = Alma-MUN21311069240002511&indx = 1&recIds = Alma-MUN21311069240002511&recIdxs = 0&elementId = 0&renderMode = poppedOut&displayMode = full&frbrVer
- Berger, C.R., Calabrese, R.J.: Some explorations in initial interaction and beyond: toward a developmental theory of interpersonal communication. Hum. Commun. Res. 1(2), 99–112 (1975). https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2958.1975.tb00258.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Shin, S.I., Lee, K.Y., Yang, S.B.: How do uncertainty reduction strategies influence social networking site fan page visiting? examining the role of uncertainty reduction strategies, loyalty and satisfaction in continuous visiting behavior. Telematics Inform. 34, 449–462 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tele.2016.09.005CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Stern, A.: Exploring the Benefits of telehealth. Trustee 70(10), 4 (2017)Google Scholar
- Travers, C.P., Murphy, J.F.: Neonatal telephone consultations in the National Maternity Hospital. Ir. Med. J. (2014)Google Scholar
- Zilliacus, E., Meiser, B., Lobb, E., Dudding, T.E., Barlow-Stewart, K., Tucker, K.: The virtual consultation: practitioners’ experiences of genetic counseling by videoconferencing in Australia. Telemed. e-Health 16(3), 350–357 (2010). http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/pdf/10.1089/tmj.2009.0108CrossRefGoogle Scholar