Skip to main content

Table 4 Code book

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

The SRM hypothesises that individuals create mental representations of their illness based on the concrete and abstract sources of information available to them in order to make sense of and manage the problem. It is the interpretation of this information that forms the first step in the process of seeking help, engaging in a coping strategy, or adopting an illness management regimen [78].
Social Context Abstract and concrete sources of information
The perception and interpretation of the different sources of information influence other aspects of the participants’ perception of fatigue, including representations, coping with and appraisal of fatigue via symmetrical conceptual (abstract and prepositional) and schematic (concrete and perceptual) processes.
Label Social Messages
Definition The first source is information from the external social environment from perceived significant others. This refers to the general pool of ‘lay’ information already assimilated by the individual from previous social communication and cultural knowledge of the illness.
Description • Deviation from norm
• Source: Media/Similar others/family/friends
• Type: vague/inaccurate/extensive/detailed
Includes: how social response to the reports of their fatigue symptom is assimilated by the individual and in turn, impacts their acceptance and representation of the symptoms:
• Reactions of and support offered by healthcare professionals
• Reactions of and support offered by family and friends
Label Social Identity
Definition This source of information relates to participants’ social role and identity. The expectations of others are included, as well issues that arise due to difficulties in articulating the experience of symptoms.
Description • Expectations of others
• Social comparisons (comparison to similar others)
• Individuals role as parent/friend/employee
Representation Health Threat (cognitive and emotional)
Code 4
Label Identity
Description • Label
• Concrete signs/symptoms
Code 5
Label Cause
Definition Dimension represents the beliefs regarding the factors that are responsible for causing the illness or disease.
Description • Biological
• Genetic
• Psychological
• Environmental
• Emotion
• Own behaviour
Code 6
Label Consequence
Definition imagined and real refers to beliefs regarding the impact of the illness on overall quality of life or how it may affect functional capacity
Description • Physical
• Emotional
• Social
• Economic
• Psychological
Code 7
Label Timeline
Definition i.e., the time for the development of the disease, its duration, and time for recovery;
Refers to the individual’s beliefs about the course of the illness (e.g., “My illness is chronic”) and time scale of illness symptoms (e.g., “The pain is persistent”).
Description • Acute
• Episodic
• Cyclical
• Chronic
Code 8
Label Cure/Control
Definition Degree to which the disease can be prevented, cured, and kept from progressing.
refers to the sensation of empowerment regarding performance of coping behaviours or the efficacy of treatment
Description • limit/manage symptoms
Code 9
Label Coping
Definition Cognitive and behavioural actions we take (or do not take) to enhance health and to prevent, treat (i.e., cure or control), and rehabilitate from illness.
Description • Distraction, Resting and Avoiding Activity
• Problem-focused coping
• Seeking social support.
• Problem-focused coping–specific.
As in Martin S. Hagger & Sheina Orbell (2003) A Meta-Analytic Review of the Common-Sense Model of Illness Representations, Psychology & Health, 18:2, 141–184, DOI: 10.1080/088704403100081321
Code 11 Appraisal
Definition Symptom and functional changes
Evaluation of coping style/strategies adopted
Description • What factors influenced coping?
• Was my coping strategy effective?