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Table 2 The six phases of thematic analysis as described by Braun and Clarke [6]

From: Exploring womens’ experiences and decision making about physical activity during pregnancy and following birth: a qualitative study

1. Familiarisation with the dataFamiliarisation was done independently by AF whilst conducting the interviews and transcribing the audio recordings. AF wrote interview summaries after each interview and kept a diary to note any thoughts and reflections down during the interview stage of key topics that had been emerging. All authors familiarized themselves with the transcripts by reading the transcripts.
2. Generating initial codesA coding process was implemented whereby data that was relevant to the research question was highlighted and assigned a code. The codes were then applied to further pieces of data that corresponded to the same concept. This was conducted by all authors on two transcripts selected at random by AF. Once the authors had individually derived a code lists for the first two transcripts, code lists were compared between authors and any discrepancies between codes were resolved by consensus. Phase 2 was then completed by AF, DS and KH on the remaining transcripts. The coding was done in a systematic and iterative way across the data whereby any new codes were consistently coded across the rest of the data when that concept occurred.
3. Searching for themesAF, DS and KH individually reviewed and grouped codes according to similarity of topic and started to form potential themes. The authors individually developed theme names that captured all codes included within the theme. AF, DS and KH cross checked each other’s themes to ensure full agreement of the research team.
4. Reviewing themesAF, DS and KH checked the themes in relation to the coded data extracts and assessed in terms of how well they represented the entire data set. Each author mapped their themes onto each other’s to ensure consistency and agreement across themes. AF, DS and KH discussed any discrepancies of themes to come to a consensus on the main themes to represent the data.
5. Defining and naming themesThe names and definitions of each theme were refined and a short description of each theme was developed by authors AF, DS and KH. Each author re-assessed the names of themes to ensure theme names captured succinctly the concepts relating to the theme. Specific contributions of the data were pinned down to clarify the story of the analysis.
6. Producing the reportA full report of the analysis was written by AF with the use of the most appropriate extracts and relating back to the original research question. Guidance was received from CK, DS and KH.