|Ethical issues||The Paris-Descartes University review board (CERES) approved the research protocol (IRB number: 20140600001072). All participants provided written informed consent.|
Purposive sampling strategy with maximum variation:|
- To include patients that differed with respect to cancer site and type, stage, duration of treatment and age.
- To “challenge” the findings continuously by including participants who might invalidate what was previously found.
- Inclusion criteria were discussed with physicians of the oncology departments where recruitment was planned.|
- With respect with maximum variation purposive sampling strategy, physicians were asked to identify 3 to 5 suitable patients who met the inclusion criteria
- Physicians mentioned the study to potential participants and gave them an information sheet about it.
- Researchers met the interestesed patients
° To describe the study
° To collect social and demographic data
° To obtain their written consent.
- Age: 18 years or older (no upper limit)
- Treatment started at least 6 months before interview
- Able to communicate in French
- Age: < 18 years
- In the terminal phase (expected survival less than 6 months)
Data saturation according to the principle of theoretical sufficiency:|
- When new participants were not adding anything significant to the database
- When the themes obtained offered a sufficient explanatory framework in view of the data collected.
- Two further individual interviews were conducted with no new themes emerging, so to ensure full data saturation.
|Data collection period||Between November 2014 and June 2015|
|Data collection methods||
Individual semi-structured interviews:|
- To get rich and detailed personal data from each participant
- Interactive conversational style
- Using a list of area of experience:
° Topic 1: Story of the illness (beginning of the story)
° Topic 2: exploration of daily life during the treatment period
▪ At home
▪ In relationships
▪ At work (if maintained)
▪ In treatment
- All interviews were:
° Conducted in a private room in the hospital of treatment
° Audio-recorded with participants’ permission
° Transcribed literally into verbatim.
Experienced qualitative researchers|
- A psychologist (MO)
- Two psychiatrists (JS, ML)
|Duration of interviews||From 60 to 90 min.|
- To identify, analyze and report themes within data (a theme = a label that summarizes the essence of a number of related codes)
- To identify the similarities and the differences in the participants’ narratives.
- To discern recurrent patterns and to integrate new elements that emerged from the analysis
- Data-driven analysis with inductive approach = coding the data without any reference to theoretical notions or researcher’s preconceptions.
|Criteria to ensure validity||
Analysis conducted independently by three researchers (JS, MO, ML)|
- To verify that the themes identified were an exact reflection of the data.
Research group monthly meetings:
- To discuss the results
- To be supervised by two researchers more distant from the material (ARL, LV).
- After negotiation of disagreements and discrepancies within the research team during regular meetings, consensus was reached on all findings.