Toward a Model of Word-of-Mouth in the Health Care Sector

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2 Citations (Scopus)


An important source of health information is word of mouth (WOM). Nevertheless, a model describing WOM in the health care sector does not exist. The aim of this paper is to contribute to research by providing concrete suggestions for a model of word of mouth in the health care sector. A conceptual framework comprising the theory of cognitive dissonance, the theory of the strength of weak ties, and the theory of perceived risk are used as a theoretical anchor. In order to gain a more precise knowledge of WOM in the health care sector, a literature review of leading health care journals is conducted. The findings are summarized in the form of a model proposal describing the creation, spread, and impact of WOM in the health care sector. As the model summarizes the current WOM literature, it seems to be a good starting point for further research by scholars. The paper also helps practitioners to better understand WOM and integrate the WOM aspects described into their daily work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)434-449
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Nonprofit and Public Sector Marketing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2017


  • Health care
  • literature review
  • model
  • word of mouth (WOM)

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