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J Med Internet Res. 2011 Nov 2;13(4):e81. doi: 10.2196/jmir.1574.

Website quality, expectation, confirmation, and end user satisfaction: the knowledge-intensive website of the Korean National Cancer Information Center.

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College of Business, Chosun University, Gwangju-si, Republic of Korea.



The fact that patient satisfaction with primary care clinical practices and physician-patient communications has decreased gradually has brought a new opportunity to the online channel as a supplementary service to provide additional information.


In this study, our objectives were to examine the process of cognitive knowledge expectation-confirmation from eHealth users and to recommend the attributes of a "knowledge-intensive website.". Knowledge expectation can be defined as users' existing attitudes or beliefs regarding expected levels of knowledge they may gain by accessing the website. Knowledge confirmation is the extent to which user's knowledge expectation of information systems use is realized during actual use. In our hypothesized research model, perceived information quality, presentation and attractiveness as well as knowledge expectation influence knowledge confirmation, which in turn influences perceived usefulness and end user satisfaction, which feeds back to knowledge expectation.


An empirical study was conducted at the National Cancer Center (NCC), Republic of Korea (South Korea), by evaluating its official website. A user survey was administered containing items to measure subjectively perceived website quality and expectation-confirmation attributes. A study sample of 198 usable responses was used for further analysis. We used the structural equation model to test the proposed research model.


Knowledge expectation exhibited a positive effect on knowledge confirmation (beta = .27, P < .001). The paths from information quality, information presentation, and website attractiveness to knowledge confirmation were also positive and significant (beta = .24, P < .001; beta = .29, P < .001; beta = .18, P < .001, respectively). Moreover, the effect of knowledge confirmation on perceived usefulness was also positively significant (beta = .64, P < .001). Knowledge expectation together with knowledge confirmation and perceived usefulness also significantly affected end user satisfaction (beta = .22 P < .001; beta = .39, P < .001; beta = .25, P < .001, respectively).


Theoretically, this study has (1) identified knowledge-intensive website attributes, (2) enhanced the theoretical foundation of eHealth from the information systems (IS) perspective by adopting the expectation-confirmation theory (ECT), and (3) examined the importance of information and knowledge attributes and explained their impact on user satisfaction. Practically, our empirical results suggest that perceived website quality (ie, information quality, information presentation, and website attractiveness) is a core requirement for knowledge building. In addition, our study has also shown that knowledge confirmation has a greater effect on satisfaction than both knowledge expectation and perceived usefulness.

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