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

McClymont, Hoda and Gow, Jeff and Perry, Chad (2014) The role of information search in seeking alternative treatment for back pain: a qualitative analysis. Chiropractic and Manual Therapies, 22 (16). ISSN 2045-709X

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Abstract

Background: Health consumers have moved away from a reliance on medical practitioner advice to more independent decision processes and so their information search processes have subsequently widened. This study examined how persons with back pain searched for alternative treatment types and service providers. That is, what information do they seek and how; what sources do they use and why; and by what means do they search for it?
Methods: 12 persons with back pain were interviewed. The method used was convergent interviewing. This involved a series of semi-structured questions to obtain open-ended answers. The interviewer analysed the responses and refined the questions after each interview, to converge on the dominant factors influencing decisions about treatment patterns.
Results: Persons with back pain mainly search their memories and use word of mouth (their doctor and friends) for information about potential treatments and service providers. Their search is generally limited due to personal, provider-related and information-supply reasons. However,they did want in-depth information about the alternative treatments and providers in an attempt to establish apriori their efficacy in treating their specific back problems. They searched different sources depending on the type of information they required.
Conclusions: The findings differ from previous studies about the types of information health consumers require when searching for information about alternative or mainstream healthcare services. The results have identified for the first time that limited information availability was only one of three categories of reasons identified about why persons with back pain do not search for more information particularly from external non-personal sources.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2014 McClymont et al. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Management and Enterprise
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2014 12:15
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2016 04:10
Uncontrolled Keywords: information-seeking behaviour; information sources; medical information
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1104 Complementary and Alternative Medicine > 110499 Complementary and Alternative Medicine not elsewhere classified
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111712 Health Promotion
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1702 Cognitive Sciences > 170202 Decision Making
08 Information and Computing Sciences > 0807 Library and Information Studies > 080703 Human Information Behaviour
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1186/2045-709X-22-16
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/25110

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