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Table 2 Thematic analysis

From: Patients’ quality of life during active cancer treatment: a qualitative study

  Activities Rationale
Stage 1 Repeatedly read each transcript, as a whole Obtain a global picture of the interview and become familiar with the interviewee’s verbal style and vocabulary.
Each new reading of the transcript might also provide new perspectives.
Stage 2 Code the transcript by making notes corresponding to the fundamental units of meanings. Pay particular attention to linguistic details and the vocabulary used by the participant, for instance when he/she uses a metaphor to explain or name a phenomenon, in order to make inductive descriptive notes using the participant’s own words.
Stage 3 Make conceptual notes through processes of condensation, abstraction, and comparison of the initial notes. Categorize initial notes and reach a higher level of abstraction.
Stage 4 Identify initial themes.
Provide text quotes that illustrate the main ideas of each theme.
Themes are labels that summarize the essence of a number of related conceptual notes. They are used to capture the experience of the phenomenon under study.
Stage 5 Identify recurrent themes across transcripts and produce a coherent ordered table of the themes and sub-themes. Move from the particular to the shared across multiple experiences. Recurrent themes reflect a shared understanding of the phenomena among all participants.
During this more analytic stage, researchers try to make sense of the associations between the themes found.