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Table 2 Information sources used to select treatment types/service providers

From: The role of information search in seeking alternative treatment for back pain: a qualitative analysis

Information sources Interviewees No. of interviewees using each source Rank of frequency of sources used
Internal source – memory of past knowledge and experiences 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 6 2
External personal sources    
Word of mouth – friends 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11 7 1
Doctor/other therapists’ referrals 1, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11 6 2
Word of mouth – family 1, 5, 8, 9 4 3
Word of mouth – work colleagues 1, 2, 6, 12 4 3
Speaking with a provider prior to appointment 2, 10 2 5
Word of mouth - other (for example, teacher, receptionist at my doctor’s practice) 3, 10 2 5
External non-personal sources    
Yellow/white pages 1, 2, 3, 8 4 3
Promotional sign at provider’s office 2, 3, 11 3 4
Internet 5, 7 2 5
Books 5 1 6
Radio talk back show 7 1 6