International Journal of

Business & Management Studies

ISSN 2694-1430 (Print), ISSN 2694-1449 (Online)
DOI: 10.56734/ijbms
Investigating Patient Uncertainty in Virtual Consultation: A Content Analysis Study


Despite the benefits of conveniences and flexibilities, widespread adoption of virtual consultation systems remains elusive among patients. This exploratory study aims to uncover the underlying reasons behind this phenomenon by investigating patient uncertainties about virtual consultation and the impact on patient satisfaction. Leveraging a content analysis methodology, we scrutinize patient-generated online reviews on five prominent virtual consultation platforms.

Our findings delineate the primary sources of patient uncertainty, ranked in descending order of significance: (1) ambiguity surrounding virtual consultation processes, (2) concerns regarding doctors' behavior, (3) challenges in articulating symptoms, (4) apprehensions regarding doctors' attitudes, (5) difficulties in understanding doctors, and (6)uncertainty about doctor’s feelings and emotions. Moreover, our analysis suggests a potential link between heightened uncertainties and patient dissatisfaction, albeit contingent on various factors, including perceived benefits and how virtual consultation systems address patient uncertainties.

This study sheds light on the intricate dynamics of uncertainties in virtual consultations, providing valuable insights for researchers, system designers, and healthcare providers. By elucidating patient perspectives and apprehensions, our findings offer a roadmap for refining virtual consultation systems to mitigate uncertainties and enhance patient satisfaction, thereby advancing the quality and efficacy of telemedicine services.