Patient recommendations as determining factor for the choice of physiotherapists

Sebastian Martin, Dorothea Greiling, Bettina Danninger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Increasingly, patients expect to be able to co-determine their medical providers and treatments. Such a participative role requires access to comprehensible information, which might often be gained through recommendations. Current research analyze recommendations in the context of hospitals, not focusing outpatient care, such as treatment by a physiotherapist. This study aims to reduce this research gap by investigating the choice of physiotherapists, emphasizing the role of patient recommendations. Standardized questionnaires were provided to patients of physiotherapists in the area of Salzburg Austria. The empirical data of 77 patients reveals that most patients consider recommendations essential when choosing their physiotherapist. A combination of strong and weak ties is commonly used when seeking and spreading such advice. Moreover, the spreading of recommendations is influenced by several patient, medical, atmospheric and provider characteristics. In contrast to traditional face-to-face recommendations, electronic references seems to play a rather subordinate role.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-649
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Healthcare Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


  • Health care
  • outpatient care
  • physiotherapist
  • recommendations
  • word-of-mouth


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