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Consumer (dis)engagement coping profiles using online services in managing health‐related stressors

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

E-pub ahead of print
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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>16/08/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>Psychology and Marketing
Publication StatusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date16/08/22
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Online health services are a rapidly growing coping resource for consumers to draw on in managing health‐related stressors. We apply a (dis)engagement coping lens to understand consumer coping, identify the distinct purposes of consumer coping captured in six coping scales, and develop an inventory (via multiple studies), to measure consumer positioning on these scales. In a final survey (N = 623), we assess the extent to which consumers use online health services, the ways in which they draw on these services as coping resources using the 6‐scale inventory and the influence of health status on coping efforts. We demonstrate that consumer engagement coping efforts with respect to health‐related stressors are largely directed toward direct management of health stressors (e.g., active planning). We also identify how consumers combine multiple ways of coping through distinguishing three coping profiles based on the enactment and perceived helpfulness of the six coping scales and current health status. Our profiles emphasize the need to understand the progress of health conditions as a determiner of coping efforts. Practitioners and policymakers can use this structured understanding of coping efforts to strategically plan future service provision, although some caution is noted with respect to health inequalities.