Online narratives about medical tourism in Malaysia and Thailand: a qualitative content analysis

Nur Syafiqah Abd Mutalib, Yee Chang Soh, Tin Wui Wong, Siew Mei Yee, Quan Yang, Muthu Kumar Murugiah, Long Chiau Ming

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (SciVal)


This study explored the written online narratives about medical tourism in Malaysia and Thailand using qualitative content analysis. The Google search engine was used for narrative search. Multiple search terms including medical, health, wellness tourism; treatment abroad; medical or health travel; treatment, surgery, or plastic surgery; dental treatment or braces were used to obtain related blog posts, discussions, and forums via a purposeful sampling method. A total of 43 online narratives were included in this study. Themes were then created after an iterative analysis of the selected online comments or posts. The push factors that act as motivators were: cost (100%), attractions (81%), availability of facilitators (62%), physician’s background and expertise (58%), bandwagon effect (42%). The majority of the subjects (88%) stated that they were satisfied with the outcomes of their medical treatments received in Malaysia and Thailand.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)821-832
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Travel and Tourism Marketing
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jul 2017


  • cost reduction
  • Health services management
  • health tourism
  • patient preference
  • plastic surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Marketing


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