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Table 2 Phases of thematic analysis according to Braun and Clarke

From: User perspectives on a psychosocial blended support program for partners of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and progressive muscular atrophy: a qualitative study

Phase Description of process and role of authors
1. Familiarizing with the data Interviews were transcribed verbatim and the accuracy of transcripts was checked by comparing the audio recordings with the transcripts (JW, EE). Transcripts were read and re-read by three authors (JW, EE, SV) and memos of initial ideas about themes and refinement of the interview guide were made and discussed (JW, EE, SV, CS). The authors had different professional backgrounds; i.a. psychology, nursing science and health sciences.
2. Generating initial codes Transcripts were broken down into fragments based on content, and these fragments were labelled with codes by researchers independently (JW, EE). After every three interviews, results of their coding were compared and discrepancies discussed leading to consensus. A third researcher, who is an expert in qualitative research (SV), coded seven interviews. Results of the codes were discussed during meetings in which the researchers worked towards consensus about the coding and interpretations of the data (JW, EE, SV, CS).This approach established researchers’ triangulation and increased the depth and credibility of the analysis.
3. Searching for themes Codes were collated into potential themes whose relevance emerged across the interviews (JW, EE). A potential description of the main and subthemes was made. Potential themes were discussed in joint meetings (JW, EE, SV, CS).
4. Reviewing themes Potential themes were reviewed for consistency with the codes and entire data to ensure they reflected the entire dataset (JW, EE). Inconsistencies were discussed and potential themes were further refined (JW, EE, SV, CS).
5. Defining and naming themes The specific content of each theme was further worked out using the transcripts, and themes were named and defined (JW, EE, SV, CS).
6. Producing the report Two researchers (JW, EE) wrote a first draft of the scientific report and selected quotes to illustrate themes. Two authors reviewed the report (CS, SV) and adjustments were made. This process was repeated until consensus was reached. The report was sent to the other members of the research team (AB, LB, JV) for critical assessment, and their feedback was processed.