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Table 2 Thematic analysis

From: Persons with rheumatoid arthritis challenge the relevance of the health assessment questionnaire: a qualitative study of patient perception

Step Description Example from analysis in the present study
Familiarizing Reading the data multiple times and noting ideas Ideas:
• The instrument affects what is spontaneously seen as functional ability. Is this reflexivity or validity?
• Many items seems to be missing from HAQ
• HAQ complements other measurements
Coding Applying open codes to data relevant to the research question Coding:
• “I wish I could dress in what I wanted by myself. Just that is important. I would like to be able to shower myself, wash my hair, these kinds of practical things. Caring for myself, that would be most important” was coded as “wishing to dress, shower and wash hair by oneself”
Searching for themes Grouping codes into initial subthemes and themes Forming tentative subthemes (here with example of codes):
Function affects and is affected by the HAQ a
o cleaning and cutting meat
o wishing to dress, shower and wash hair by oneself
o difficulty biking, drinking coffee and wiping the stove
Missing items
o Questions missing can be discussed at the appointment
o HAQ is so narrow, I’m declared cured
Reviewing Checking if the themes represent their codes and all relevant data Merging subthemes and moving codes:
• The subtheme Function affects and is affected by the HAQ a was incorporated into Missing items because the data as a whole did not clearly support reflexivity of items
• The code “HAQ is so narrow, I’m declared cured” was moved back and forth between Static items and Missing items and ended up at Missing items
Defining Analysis for renaming themes and formulating an explicit definition Renaming:
• Subtheme Effect on behavior clarified as Effects on physician behavior
• A theme, A wish to change the HAQ, concerned only experiences of the individual items and not the participants’ wishes, so instead was renamed Problems with individual items
  1. Notes. Inductive analysis [20] in the present study, subthemes in italics. Some data demonstrate more than one theme (e.g., the code “HAQ is so narrow, I’m declared cured”)
  2. aThis theme concerned an early hypothesis that regular use of the HAQ would affect participants’ perceptions of function, i.e., drawing attention to abilities in HAQ would make respondents more attentive to the abilities even though they were not important prior to exposure to HAQ (reflexivity)