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Factors That Influence Healthcare Professionals’ Online Interaction in a Virtual Community of Practice

Kendall, S., Ikioda, F., Brooks, F., de Liddo, A., Buckingham Shum, S. (2013) Factors That Influence Healthcare Professionals’ Online Interaction in a Virtual Community of Practice. Social Networking, 2 (4). pp. 174-184. ISSN 2169-3285. E-ISSN 2169-3323. (doi:10.4236/sn.2013.24017)


Online technologies have facilitated the development of Virtual Communities of Practice (virtual CoPs) to support health professionals collaborate online to share knowledge, improve performance and support the spread of innovation and best practices. Research, however, shows that many virtual CoPs do not achieve their expected potential because online interaction among healthcare professionals is generally low. Focusing on health visitors, who are UK qualified midwives or nurses who have undertaken additional qualifications as specialist public health workers in the community, the paper examines the factors that influence online interaction among health visitors collaborating to share knowledge and experience in a virtual CoP. The paper makes suggestions for how to improve online interaction among health professionals in virtual CoPs by increasing the size of membership in order to take advantage of both posting and viewing contributions, facilitating moderation to improve networking among geographically dispersed members groups and improving the topic relevance in order to stimulate contributions.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.4236/sn.2013.24017
Uncontrolled keywords: Virtual Community of Practice; Health Visitors; Online Interaction; Collaboration
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General) > R858 Medical informatics
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Depositing User: Sally Kendall
Date Deposited: 05 May 2016 09:25 UTC
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2019 15:24 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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