Understanding influential factors behind lurking behaviour in online cancer communities

Basma Badreddine, Yvette Blount

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Online cancer communities (OCC) provide support for cancer-affected people who experience psychological and emotional challenges. This study investigates the influence of online community environmental features and individual factors on members’ online lurking behaviour in the OCC because many users become members but do not participate. The results showed that reciprocity, the richness of contents, perceived moderator enthusiasm, and speed of response represent community environmental features that influence participation behaviour in the OCC. Individuals who exhibited extroversion and openness-to-feelings attitudes are more willing to participate in online discussions. Cancer knowledge, functional well-being, and psychological well-being are influential psychosocial factors that are not related to the OCC and that can predict online participation. Peer support and bad experience represent factors emerging as being part of the online community that can influence online participation. These findings provide insights into designing an OCC that encourages participation from all members.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)542-564
Number of pages23
JournalBehaviour and Information Technology
Issue number6
Early online date29 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2021


  • Online cancer community
  • posters
  • lurkers
  • cancer-affected people
  • online community environmental features
  • psychosocial factors
  • individual factors


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