Table 1

Phases of analysis*

Initial codingLine-by-line coding of each segment of data; use of gerunds as a heuristic device to describe data (and ‘to nudge us out of static topics and into enacted processes’)Explore and interact with the data; begin to explain what it means; generate the ‘bones’ of the analysisThis coding is done as soon as possible after each interview
Focused codingCoding with those codes that appear more frequently in the dataSift, sort and synthesise large amounts of data; form the ‘skeleton’ of the analysisAfter three or four interviews, patterns begin to emerge
Theoretical codingUse theoretical sensitivity to conceptualise relationships between categories; determine the main category(ies)Create hypotheses for the theory; begin conceptualising theoretical frameworkAfter interviewing most of the participants and there are clearly significant patterns in the data, the theory begins to emerge
Theoretical samplingGather more data (further empirical data) on the main category(ies) and its(their) properties until no new properties emerge (to saturation)Elaborate and refine categories; ensure robust categories; clarify relationships between categories; identify variations in the processFinal interviews validate and refine the theory
Theory developmentUse theoretical sensitivity to raise categories to concepts; ask ‘what is the data a study of?’Develop the theoretical framework to explain the process; offer an abstract understanding of the relationships between the core concepts‘Member checking’ with participants and members of the same community adds rigour to the theory
  • *Aubin D. Unmasking the self as a fallible health professional: a grounded theory study on the psychosocial process of mitigating the negative effects of shame due to mistakes. 2015. University of Alberta press.