Identifying Consumer Value Co-created through Social Support within Online Health Communities

Susan Stewart Loane, Cynthia M. Webster*, Steven D’Alessandro

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)


Consumers increasingly turn to online health communities for health information and social support. Yet, the type of value consumers derive from online health communities is not well understood. This study examines social support as the mechanism through which consumers co-create and experience different types of value. Cutrona and Russell’s typology of social support and Holbrook’s consumer value typology are applied to posts and threads obtained from two online communities for people with Parkinson’s Disease and ALS. Results demonstrate that online health communities give consumers the opportunity to create and experience forms of consumer value that would not otherwise be available in a traditional health delivery system. The results lend support to a re-conceptualisation of medical practice and health delivery for consumers with chronic conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-367
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Macromarketing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sept 2015


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