Antecedents of privacy calculus components in virtual health communities

Nima Kordzadeh, John Warren, Ali Seifi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Over the past decade, social media technologies have become effective tools not only for entertainment, but also for online health communications. In virtual health communities (VHCs), the members often share their personal health information (PHI) with other members. These information exchanges provide benefits to both the information providers as well as the recipients. The PHI disclosure, however, may entail privacy concerns. Our study used the privacy calculus model to examine the trade-off between individuals' expected benefits and privacy concerns when disclosing PHI in social media environments. Our results showed that age, health status, and affective commitment influence the balance between the information disclosure drivers and barriers in the privacy calculus model. More specifically, we found that among members of VHCs, healthier people expect to receive fewer personal benefits of communicating PHI in social media environments. Moreover, individuals who are emotionally attached to online communities expect to both receive and provide more benefits while communicating PHI in those communities. We also observed that individuals who are familiar with but not members of VHCs, especially those who are young and healthy, are more concerned about their PHI privacy in online communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)724-734
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Information Management
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • Affective commitment
  • Online social networks
  • Personal health information
  • Privacy calculus model
  • Self-disclosure
  • Virtual health communities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Library and Information Sciences


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