Value in an online health community: it’s more than health information

Susan Stewart Loane, Steven D’Alessandro

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


Online health communities are a self-service source of information and social support, yet are rarely studied as a form of consumption. This study surveys members of an online community for sufferers of Crohn’s Disease. Building upon work of sociologists who identify the presence of social capital in online communities, we examine the relationship between social capital and consumer value within the Crohn’s Disease online community. Results indicate that consumers co-create value not only in the form of timely, quality health information that can be used to improve quality of life, but also spiritual value in the form of connectedness and hope. It is important that health professionals and sponsors of online health communities understand participants are seeking more than health information from their online community. Consumers also experience value through a shared experience, co-creating value whilst generating social capital.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Australia New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference 2013
EditorsRod Brodie
Place of PublicationAuckland, New Zealand
PublisherThe University of Auckland Business School, University of Auckland
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9780646563305
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventAustralian and New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference (2013) - Auckland, New Zealand
Duration: 1 Dec 20134 Dec 2013


ConferenceAustralian and New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference (2013)
CityAuckland, New Zealand


  • online communities
  • co-created value
  • consumer value
  • social capital


Dive into the research topics of 'Value in an online health community: it’s more than health information'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this