Table 1

Phases of thematic analysis

PhaseDescription of processSteps taken
1. Familiarising yourself with your dataTranscribing data (if necessary), reading and re-reading the data, noting down initial ideas.Two co-authors (SB and SMC) had already taken notes during the focus group and had thus already been exposed to the data. Following the conclusion of the focus group, each note taker scribed their notes separately. This provided two separate transcripts of the focus group.
2. Generating initial codesCoding interesting features of the data in a systematic fashion across the entire data set, collating data relevant to each code.In total, three rounds of coding were conducted in order to iteratively make sense of themes emerging from the data. During the first round, two co-authors (SB and SMC) developed coding frames of the transcriptions independently using NVivo V.12. The use of a multidisciplinary coding team helped to address potential concerns regarding researcher influence on the nature of analysis.45
3. Searching for themesCollating codes into potential themes, gathering all data relevant to each potential theme.Following initial coding, the two coders (SB and SMC) separately identified potential themes and subthemes within the transcript of the focus group discussion.
4. Reviewing themesChecking if the themes work in relation to the coded extracts (level 1) and the entire data set (level 2), generating a thematic ‘map’ of the analysis.In the second round of coding, the two co-authors (SB and SMC) merged the themes they identified independently into common categories and subcategories in order to consolidate the findings.
5. Defining and naming themesOngoing analysis to refine the specifics of each theme, and the overall story the analysis tells, generating clear definitions and names for each theme.The third and final round of coding involved two other co-authors (AM and AK) independently reviewing the themes that emerged from the second round of coding.
6. Producing the reportThe final opportunity for analysis. Selection of vivid, compelling extract examples, final analysis of selected extracts, relating the analysis back to the research question and literature, producing a scholarly report of the analysis.Lastly, all coauthors contributed towards the production of the report which was guided by the previous five steps of thematic analysis.
  • Source: Authors own, based on Braun and Clarke (29, p 87). Codes generated are presented in online supplemental tables 2–4.