Conceptualization and validation of customer participation in health care: a study on chronic illnesses management


  • Junaid Muhammad
  • Goudarzi Kiane
  • Rasheed Muhammad Faisal
  • N’goala Gilles

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Purpose Contrary to want-based services, customer participation has got lesser attention in high-credence services like health care. Customer participation for patients with chronic illnesses could be life-threatening and goes beyond the service organization’s physical environment. Realizing the importance of transformative service research in health-care services, this study aims to propose and validate the conceptualization of customer participation for patients with chronic illnesses. Design/methodology/approach The study uses sequential exploratory research design with mixed method research. The first phase is a qualitative exploration of the nature and meaning of customer participation by synthesizing theory and insights from semi-structured interviews ( N = 75) with doctors, patients and paramedical staff. Next, survey data ( N = 690) of patients with chronic illnesses is used to validate the proposed conceptualization. Finally, nomological validity was also tested on an additional survey data set ( N = 362) using SEM and FsQCA. Findings The findings reveal that health-care customer participation is a three-dimensional behavioral construct in which a customer can participate by sharing information, involving in decision-making and ensuring compliance. The study also demonstrates that customer participation is a critical driver of satisfaction with life and perceived control on illness. Practical implications The research provides policy guidelines for owners and operators of health-care organizations in developing frameworks for collecting participation data, which can be used in strategies for seeking customer participation. Originality/value The research conceptualizes and validates “customer participation” as a multidimensional higher-order construct for patients with chronic illnesses, rarely focused in services marketing and management research on health care.

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