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Table 2 Example of structural analysis

From: Post-discharge symptoms following fast-track colonic cancer surgery: a phenomenological hermeneutic study

Direct quote Meaning Interpretation
“What is said” “What the text speaks about” Main theme: symptoms permeate daily life
It really is odd that I feel so tired. I wonder what my blood count is. There may be something wrong, but as my son said: Mom you are 74, it might just be something ordinary. At home patients experienced unfamiliar symptoms causing worry and doubt. Patients interpreted their symptoms alone or with relatives seeking explanations. Symptoms cause concern
I kept thinking oh, no… is it a thrombosis or a stroke because I had sensory disturbances. I wondered if it was stress.   
Suddenly I felt a pressure in my stomach and I lost my appetite. It seemed strange to me, as it ought to be the other way around; with a lack of appetite first…I thought that it would soon disappear, so I could start eating again. I am so skinny. Sudden or persistent symptoms limited activities in everyday life. Sudden fatigue required frequent rest. Symptoms limit activity
During the first week I was suddenly overcome by fatigue and had to rest for 20 minutes before I could continue with what I was doing.   
The first days at home I did nothing at all because of pain. I only put on underwear and a sheet to avoid the pain.   
We went for a walk, just a short one; I mean we don’t have to walk for hours as usual. Then I went to bed again and slept for an hour. Every day I went to bed after breakfast and again after lunch, I was so tired.   
  1. Structural analysis was conducted on three sub-levels: “what is said” (quotes), “What the text speaks about” (meaning), and final structure into main themes and sub-themes (interpretation).