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Table 1 Methodology for qualitative interview studies

From: Acute severe paediatric asthma: study protocol for the development of a core outcome set, a Pediatric Emergency Research Networks (PERN) study

 Patient/family interview studyClinician interview study
Hospital selection• Ability to conduct the patient interviews
• Overall diversity (geographic, health system, and socio-demographic differences) of hospitals selected
• Maximum of 4 sites chosen from any one research network
• No more than 3 hospitals from the same country
• Emails inviting physicians to participate will be distributed to the existing Pediatric Emergency Research Network (PERN) asthma working group
• Aim to include both tertiary paediatric centres and mixed hospitals
Participant selection• Each hospital to arrange interviews with the family members of 2 patients. The patient will also be able to participate if deemed mature enough by their parent/carer
• Eligibility: admitted to the hospital via the emergency department (ED) with an acute exacerbation of asthma
• Family to be approached while the child is still an inpatient on the hospital ward, once the child is stable
• Working group members will be eligible to be interviewed
• Group members will also be asked to approach a local colleague from another medical discipline (e.g. emergency physician, paediatrician, intensivist or respiratory paediatrician) to seek their participation
• Maximum of 5 clinicians from any single country
• No more than 2 clinicians from the same hospital
Interview format• Semi-structured face-to-face interviews by local investigators at each site
• Interview will take place at the patient’s bedside, or in an interview room within the ward setting
• Audio recorded and transcribed
• Semi-structured telephone interview by the central study investigators (CG and JMcC), based in Adelaide, Australia
• Interviews will be conducted in English, using telephone or Internet-based telecommunication (e.g. Skype)
• Audio recorded and transcribed
Thematic analysis taxonomy• Outcomes in medical research, comprising mortality/survival, physiological/clinical, life impact, resource use, and adverse events/effects [42]• Outcomes in medical research, comprising mortality/survival, physiological/clinical, life impact, resource use, and adverse events/effects [42]
• Theoretical domains framework [43]
Review of patient cohort and determination of thematic saturation• After re-coding and analysis of 2 interviews from 5 participating sites (a total of 10 interviews), the project steering group will review the content of the themes obtained, and assess the demographic and clinical characteristics of participating families
• Aim to balance between patient age, severity of asthma exacerbation, and whether or not the patient has had previous exacerbations
• Determine whether further interviews need to be conducted in a particular population. For example, the steering group may recommend more recruitment of pre-schoolers vs school-aged children, those with severe/life-threatening asthma vs those with milder disease, those from low-to-middle income countries vs high-income countries, or those with previous asthma exacerbations vs those with a first episode
• Interview schedule will be reviewed to determine if any changes are required
• After re-coding and analysis of interviews from 5 participating sites (a total of 10 interviews), the project steering group will review the content of the themes obtained, and assess the demographic characteristics of participating clinicians
• Aim to balance between type of health system (high-income country vs low-to-middle income country), and type of practitioner (emergency specialist vs paediatrician vs intensivist)
• Determine whether further interviews need to be conducted in a particular population. For example, the steering group may recommend more recruitment of paediatricians or intensivists, or more recruitment from high-income countries
• Interview schedule will be reviewed to determine if any changes are required
Reassessment and determination of thematic saturation• Reassessment every 5 interviews after the initial 10 until it is determined that thematic saturation is reached and that a representative sample of all important patient types has been achieved
• Thematic saturation reached when 3 consecutive interviews have been completed with no new themes emerging