An empirical investigation of the salient dimensions of Baby Boomer and Generation Y consumers' health care decision choices.
Description: The purpose of this research is to empirically investigate consumers' health care decision choices in a dynamic market setting. The unprecedented demands on the U.S. health care system coupled with the mounting controversies surrounding health care reform suggest that consumers' health care decisions warrant empirical research attention. Toward this end, this dissertation empirically explored (1) the characteristics of consumers who possess a willingness to use non-conventional treatments over conventional treatments, (2) the characteristics of consumers who elect self-medication in lieu of health care practitioner-directed medication, and (3) the salient dimensions of consumers' channel choice for the procurement of health care products. Each of these decision choice factors were tested across two U.S. generational segments to assess whether differences existed across Baby Boomers' and Gen Yers' health care decision choices. The conceptual framework for empirical assessment is Bandura's (1986) social cognitive theory. From Bandura's social cognitive theory, a general model of healthcare decision choice is proposed to assess consumers' states of mind, states of being and states of action (decision choice). Results indicate that social cognitive factors (e.g., self-efficacy, objectivism) play an important role in each of the decision domains explored in this dissertation. Moreover, health value was found to be an important moderator between the social cognitive factors and health care decision choices. The predictors of the health care decision choices were found to vary across the Baby Boomers and Generation Yers on several dimensions, confirming the notion that generational differences may be a salient dimension of consumers' health care decision choice. The research offers several implications for practitioners, academicians and policy makers. Both descriptive and normative implications are gleaned from the research findings. Most notably, the results indicate that consumers' social cognitive factors and health value may be mechanisms for managing health care decisions.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Krishnankutty Nair Rajamma, Rajasree
Item Type: Thesis or Dissertation