Skip to main content

Table 1 Consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research (COREQ) checklist [76] for focus groups

From: Cancer-related fatigue in post-treatment cancer survivors: application of the common sense model of illness representations

Item Description
Domain 1: Research team and reflexivity
Personal Characteristics
1. Interviewer/facilitator Two authors (TC and BMG) conducted the focus groups
2. Credentials TC: BA, MSc
BMG: BA, MClinPsych, DipCrim, DipHealthSc, PhD, AFPsSI, Reg Psychol (PsSI), AFBPsS, CPsychol
3. Occupation TC: PhD candidate
BMG: Research Leader and Clinical Psychologist
4. Gender TC: female
BMG: male
5. Experience and training TC: trained in qualitative research methods and design; experience in conducting focus groups
BMG: trained in qualitative research methods and design; experience in facilitating clinical groups
Relationship with participants
6. Relationship established Participants contacted TC via email or telephone to discuss arrangements for the focus groups. Otherwise participants had no relationship with researchers
7. Participant knowledge of the interviewer Participants were informed that the researcher was conducting a PhD in the area of cancer related fatigue and that her goal was to understand the symptom better by discussing it with people who lived with it.
8. Interviewer characteristics Qualitative researcher and supervisor were both closely engaged in the research process and were therefore unable to completely avoid personal bias. This research sought to inform the content of an intervention.
Domain 2: study design
Theoretical framework
9. Methodological orientation and Theory Thematic analysis was used in this study. A contextualist approach was adopted to acknowledge the meanings applied to, and reality of, the experience of CrF, and to understand how the broader social context impacts on those meanings [39].
Participant selection
10. Sampling Cancer survivors who self-reported ‘significant fatigue or reduced energy’ were eligible to take part. Self-selected Irish cancer survivors from the general public participated in this research.
11. Method of approach From February to June 2014, cancer support groups and associations in the region were contacted. A press release was distributed to local media groups advertising the study.
12. Sample size There were 18 participants in the study. There were four individuals in each of the first three focus groups and the final group had six attendees.
13. Non-participation All participants who agreed on a date and time to attend took part in the focus groups.
Setting
14. Setting of data collection Data was collected in a meeting room in the School of Psychology at the University where the researcher is based.
15. Presence of non-participants No one else was present besides the participants and researchers.
16. Description of sample Demographic data can be seen in Table 3.
Data collection
17. Interview guide Questions based on a study by Barsevik et al [34] were utilised. These open-ended questions were posed to each of the groups: (a) what is your experience of fatigue? (b) What does the experience of fatigue mean to you? and (c) what do you do about your fatigue? These were the primary questions asked, with other topics being addressed as the conversation developed. If an opportune moment arose, other questions from Barsevik et al [34] were also included: (a) are there different types of fatigue? (b) How do other symptoms affect fatigue? and (c) what do you and/or your doctors and nurses recommend to manage fatigue?
18. Repeat interviews No repeat interviews were carried out.
19. Audio/visual recording Audio recording was used to collect the data.
20. Field notes Field notes were made during and after the focus group.
21. Duration Each of the focus groups was approximately 90 min in duration.
22. Data saturation The researchers decided that data saturation had been achieved after the fourth focus group. The transcripts were reviewed as soon as possible after each interview. Saturation was achieved as no further additional new information began to emerge. It was agreed that the addition of new codes was unlikely after the fourth focus group [77].
23. Transcripts returned Transcripts were not returned to participants for comment and/or correction.
Domain 3: analysis and findings
Data analysis
24. Number of data coders Two data coders (TC and AMG) coded the data
25. Description of the coding tree Coding Tree can be seen in Fig. 1.
26. Derivation of themes Themes were identified in advance based on theory. The identified themes are reflective of patterns in the data and aim to provide a unified picture. Two researchers agreed on a clearly specified thematic coding manual which guided the interpretation of the data.
27. Software Data was managed by hand
28. Participant checking Participants did not provide feedback on the findings.
Reporting
29. Quotations presented Participant quotations were presented to illustrate the themes/findings. Each quotation identified using the participants’ age, gender, and cancer diagnosis.
30. Data and findings consistent There is consistency between the data presented and the findings. The unit of analyses was the theme rather than the prevalence or frequency of statements. Some statements of quantification are included (e.g., statements such as often, sometimes), but do not always aim to provide estimates of prevalence.
31. Clarity of major themes Codes identified in the open coding stage were discussed by two study authors until consensus was reached. A coding manual was developed (See Table 4 in Appendix 1) to clarify and define each of the themes. In stage two, the codes were checked in relation to pre-defined themes based on SRM. All major themes clearly presented in the findings.
32. Clarity of minor themes There is a description of minor themes in the findings.