University of Oulu

Laukka, E., Rantakokko, P., & Suhonen, M. (2019). Consumer-led health-related online sources and their impact on consumers: An integrative review of the literature. Health Informatics Journal, 25(2), 247–266.

Consumer-led health-related online sources and their impact on consumers : an integrative review of the literature

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Author: Laukka, Elina1; Rantakokko, Piia1; Suhonen, Marjo1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.3 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: SAGE Publications, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-04-18


The aim of the review was to describe consumer-led health-related online sources and their impact on consumers. The review was carried out as an integrative literature review. Quantisation and qualitative content analysis were used as the analysis method. The most common method used by the included studies was qualitative content analysis. This review identified the consumer-led health-related online sources used between 2009 and 2016 as health-related online communities, health-related social networking sites and health-related rating websites. These sources had an impact on peer support; empowerment; health literacy; physical, mental and emotional wellbeing; illness management; and relationships between healthcare organisations and consumers. The knowledge of the existence of the health-related online sources provides healthcare organisations with an opportunity to listen to their consumers’ ‘voice’. The sources make healthcare consumers more competent actors in relation to healthcare, and the knowledge of them is a valuable resource for healthcare organisations. Additionally, these health-related online sources might create an opportunity to reduce the need for drifting among the healthcare services. Healthcare policymakers and organisations could benefit from having a strategy of increasing their health-related online sources.

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Series: Health informatics journal
ISSN: 1460-4582
ISSN-E: 1741-2811
ISSN-L: 1460-4582
Volume: 25
Issue: 2
Pages: 247 - 266
DOI: 10.1177/1460458217704254
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 3141 Health care science
Copyright information: © 2017 Sage Publications.