Table 2

Quality assurance techniques employed

CredibilityDuring the data collection, contact was established through demonstrated interest in the responses, attentive listening, understanding and respect for what the participant says19
The sequencing and posing of questions was carefully considered and was dynamic so that the questions promoted positive interaction between the participant and the interviewer and stimulated the participant to share their experiences and points of view19
All interviews included an opportunity for participants to comment on any topic covered in the interview or any new topic that they felt was relevant19–22
Triangulation: accounts between participants were compared and contrasted
Member checking: the themes and their content were shared and discussed with the study steering group
Frequent debriefing: study progress, methods, emerging themes and any issues were reported to and scrutinised by the research programme senior team at regular intervals
TransferabilityThe sampling frame and criteria (see the Methods section) and the key population characteristics (see the Results section) were clearly recorded and reported
Dependability and confirmabilityTo allow a nuanced, multifaceted analysis and reconciliation of any tensions in the coding and concepts, researchers from different disciplinary backgrounds with different expertise contributed to the data analysis, including: GM, sociology; NK, behaviour change, NHS practice in long-term conditions; SMC, commissioning, health economics; AC, paediatrics; ALC, child and adolescent psychiatry; LV, health economics; and DR (in acknowledgements), NHS management
Involvement of several researchers with different viewpoints and expertise also helped to ensure that the framework was adapted to reflect the data rather than making the data ‘fit’ the framework
Involvement of new researchers (GM, NK) in the data analysis encouraged further peer examination through critical discussion
Audit trail: researchers kept field notes (SMC) and a logbook of data analysis (GM, NK) and established an electronic data analysis and synthesis trail of the development of the themes
  • NHS, national health services.