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The development of online doctor reviews in China: an analysis of the largest online doctor review website in China.

Hao H - J. Med. Internet Res. (2015)

Bottom Line: Also, the majority of quantitative reviews were positive-about 88% were positive for the doctors' treatment effect measure and 91% were positive for the bedside manner measure.But this number is still very small compared to any doctor's real patient population, and it cannot represent the reality of that population.Also, since all the data used for analysis were from one single website, the data might be biased and might not be a representative national sample of China.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: University of Massachusetts Boston, Department of Management Science and Information Systems, Boston, MA, United States. haohaijing@gmail.com.

ABSTRACT

Background: Since the time of Web 2.0, more and more consumers have used online doctor reviews to rate their doctors or to look for a doctor. This phenomenon has received health care researchers' attention worldwide, and many studies have been conducted on online doctor reviews in the United States and Europe. But no study has yet been done in China. Also, in China, without a mature primary care physician recommendation system, more and more Chinese consumers seek online doctor reviews to look for a good doctor for their health care concerns.

Objective: This study sought to examine the online doctor review practice in China, including addressing the following questions: (1) How many doctors and specialty areas are available for online review? (2) How many online reviews are there on those doctors? (3) What specialty area doctors are more likely to be reviewed or receive more reviews? (4) Are those reviews positive or negative?

Methods: This study explores an empirical dataset from Good Doctor website, haodf.com—the earliest and largest online doctor review and online health care community website in China—from 2006 to 2014, to examine the stated research questions by using descriptive statistics, binary logistic regression, and multivariate linear regression.

Results: The dataset from the Good Doctor website contained 314,624 doctors across China and among them, 112,873 doctors received 731,543 quantitative reviews and 772,979 qualitative reviews as of April 11, 2014. On average, 37% of the doctors had been reviewed on the Good Doctor website. Gynecology-obstetrics-pediatrics doctors were most likely to be reviewed, with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.497 (95% CI 1.461-1.535), and internal medicine doctors were less likely to be reviewed, with an OR of 0.94 (95% CI 0.921-0.960), relative to the combined small specialty areas. Both traditional Chinese medicine doctors and surgeons were more likely to be reviewed than the combined small specialty areas, with an OR of 1.483 (95% CI 1.442-1.525) and an OR of 1.366 (95% CI 1.337-1.395), respectively. Quantitatively, traditional Chinese medicine doctors (P<.001) and gynecology-obstetrics-pediatrics doctors (P<.001) received more reviews than the combined small specialty areas. But internal medicine doctors received fewer reviews than the combined small specialty areas (P<.001). Also, the majority of quantitative reviews were positive-about 88% were positive for the doctors' treatment effect measure and 91% were positive for the bedside manner measure. This was the case for the four major specialty areas, which had the most number of doctors—internal medicine, gynecology-obstetrics-pediatrics, surgery, and traditional Chinese medicine.

Conclusions: Like consumers in the United States and Europe, Chinese consumers have started to use online doctor reviews. Similar to previous research on other countries' online doctor reviews, the online reviews in China covered almost every medical specialty, and most of the reviews were positive even though all of the reviewing procedures and the final available information were anonymous. The average number of reviews per rated doctor received in this dataset was 6, which was higher than that for doctors in the United States or Germany, probably because this dataset covered a longer time period than did the US or German dataset. But this number is still very small compared to any doctor's real patient population, and it cannot represent the reality of that population. Also, since all the data used for analysis were from one single website, the data might be biased and might not be a representative national sample of China.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Number of doctors rated over time among four major specialty areas.
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figure8: Number of doctors rated over time among four major specialty areas.

Mentions: Based on Table 2 and Figure 7, which shows the number of ratings over time, we can see that the number of reviews on the Good Doctor website has been growing for all specialty areas over the years, except for a little dip in years 2010 and 2013. The number of rated doctors had been growing, then stayed relatively stable in 2012 and 2013, with a similar little dip in 2010, as Figure 8 shows. The average number of ratings per doctor over time was relatively stable, within the range of 1.8 to 3.4, as seen in Figure 9. Since this study is based on a secondary dataset, further investigation is needed to determine the reason for those specific dips.


The development of online doctor reviews in China: an analysis of the largest online doctor review website in China.

Hao H - J. Med. Internet Res. (2015)

Number of doctors rated over time among four major specialty areas.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4526894&req=5

figure8: Number of doctors rated over time among four major specialty areas.
Mentions: Based on Table 2 and Figure 7, which shows the number of ratings over time, we can see that the number of reviews on the Good Doctor website has been growing for all specialty areas over the years, except for a little dip in years 2010 and 2013. The number of rated doctors had been growing, then stayed relatively stable in 2012 and 2013, with a similar little dip in 2010, as Figure 8 shows. The average number of ratings per doctor over time was relatively stable, within the range of 1.8 to 3.4, as seen in Figure 9. Since this study is based on a secondary dataset, further investigation is needed to determine the reason for those specific dips.

Bottom Line: Also, the majority of quantitative reviews were positive-about 88% were positive for the doctors' treatment effect measure and 91% were positive for the bedside manner measure.But this number is still very small compared to any doctor's real patient population, and it cannot represent the reality of that population.Also, since all the data used for analysis were from one single website, the data might be biased and might not be a representative national sample of China.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: University of Massachusetts Boston, Department of Management Science and Information Systems, Boston, MA, United States. haohaijing@gmail.com.

ABSTRACT

Background: Since the time of Web 2.0, more and more consumers have used online doctor reviews to rate their doctors or to look for a doctor. This phenomenon has received health care researchers' attention worldwide, and many studies have been conducted on online doctor reviews in the United States and Europe. But no study has yet been done in China. Also, in China, without a mature primary care physician recommendation system, more and more Chinese consumers seek online doctor reviews to look for a good doctor for their health care concerns.

Objective: This study sought to examine the online doctor review practice in China, including addressing the following questions: (1) How many doctors and specialty areas are available for online review? (2) How many online reviews are there on those doctors? (3) What specialty area doctors are more likely to be reviewed or receive more reviews? (4) Are those reviews positive or negative?

Methods: This study explores an empirical dataset from Good Doctor website, haodf.com—the earliest and largest online doctor review and online health care community website in China—from 2006 to 2014, to examine the stated research questions by using descriptive statistics, binary logistic regression, and multivariate linear regression.

Results: The dataset from the Good Doctor website contained 314,624 doctors across China and among them, 112,873 doctors received 731,543 quantitative reviews and 772,979 qualitative reviews as of April 11, 2014. On average, 37% of the doctors had been reviewed on the Good Doctor website. Gynecology-obstetrics-pediatrics doctors were most likely to be reviewed, with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.497 (95% CI 1.461-1.535), and internal medicine doctors were less likely to be reviewed, with an OR of 0.94 (95% CI 0.921-0.960), relative to the combined small specialty areas. Both traditional Chinese medicine doctors and surgeons were more likely to be reviewed than the combined small specialty areas, with an OR of 1.483 (95% CI 1.442-1.525) and an OR of 1.366 (95% CI 1.337-1.395), respectively. Quantitatively, traditional Chinese medicine doctors (P<.001) and gynecology-obstetrics-pediatrics doctors (P<.001) received more reviews than the combined small specialty areas. But internal medicine doctors received fewer reviews than the combined small specialty areas (P<.001). Also, the majority of quantitative reviews were positive-about 88% were positive for the doctors' treatment effect measure and 91% were positive for the bedside manner measure. This was the case for the four major specialty areas, which had the most number of doctors—internal medicine, gynecology-obstetrics-pediatrics, surgery, and traditional Chinese medicine.

Conclusions: Like consumers in the United States and Europe, Chinese consumers have started to use online doctor reviews. Similar to previous research on other countries' online doctor reviews, the online reviews in China covered almost every medical specialty, and most of the reviews were positive even though all of the reviewing procedures and the final available information were anonymous. The average number of reviews per rated doctor received in this dataset was 6, which was higher than that for doctors in the United States or Germany, probably because this dataset covered a longer time period than did the US or German dataset. But this number is still very small compared to any doctor's real patient population, and it cannot represent the reality of that population. Also, since all the data used for analysis were from one single website, the data might be biased and might not be a representative national sample of China.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus