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Table 2 Examples of the analysis process

From: Health professionals’ perceptions of colorectal cancer patients’ treatment burden and their supportive work to ameliorate the burden – a qualitative study

STEP 1 Preliminary themes STEP 2 Meaning units (an example) STEP 3 Sub-categories STEP 4 Main categories
Perceived patient challenges They get very upset and devastated. It is a life crisis in a way … it is heart-breaking to watch their reactions and difficult to know how to help them in the best possible way. You really can’t tell them everything will be fine because sometimes it isn’t. (Nurse, interview 1)
Then they get retention, or they get anastomosis leakage, or they get facie rupture. Then, it will be a longer course … then, I see the crisis approaching. This is the biggest challenge. (Nurse, interview 5)
They are very curious about things. They not only ask the doctor who does the rounds, but they ask the auxiliary nurses, the evening shift nurses who do not know the patient from the day shift. Then, you lose information, and there will be misunderstandings. It is very challenging and frustrating for the patient. (Surgeon, interview 3)
Emotional responses burdening patients
Being troubled by treatment complications and side effects
The patient’s unmet needs for information increases the burden
Capturing patients’ burden of CRC treatment
Perceptions of CRC patients’ need for support If they feel safe, they can handle almost anything … you need to make things look a bit less serious. (Nurse, interview 2)
Our wish is that they learn as much as possible. We try to give them tools for coping so they feel ready to go home. (HP5)
They (the patient organisation) come here a lot. Actually, not everyone wants to meet with them. They (the patients) are in a post-surgical stage, and there are so many new things with the ostomy they have to take in. They get a card and can contact them if they want to. They will always be there for them. (Nurse, interview 8)
Sometimes, I get all choked up and teary-eyed just by thinking of the patient’s situation. It is a difficult challenge because it’s cancer. (Surgeon, interview 3)
Creating safe environments
Motivating and supporting patient self-management
Facilitating contact with family and peer support
Facing challenges in providing sufficient support
Health professionals’ supportive work