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Table 9 Process evaluation emergent themes with sub-themes and illustrative quotations

From: Changes in body weight and food choice in those attempting smoking cessation: a cluster randomised controlled trial

Theme Sub theme with illustrative quotations
1. Group Interaction Accountability: meeting other individuals I think has been a bit of a challenge as well you don’t want to let the rest of the group down. [Quitter (Q), ≤3% weight gain]
  Sharing experiences & ideas: If you’re getting a craving for a cigarette ….. you come to a group and the more people that’s in a group the more opportunity you got for an answer. Person A might say, ’Oh I do this’, Person B say, ’I’ll do this,’, and then you’ve got a choice to try it. [Q, ≤3% weight gain]
  Encouragement: I mean the fact that you’ve got other people there who support you, willing to talk to you and wie the same sort of feelings as yourself………it makes you realise you know that well if someone else can get through it, so can you. [Q, >3% weight gain]
  Lack of group support: one of the things I liked about it was that - there was five of us I think and I was a bit disappointed that 3 of them stopped coming quite early on, but I think it was because they all went back to smoking cigarettes. [Q, >3% weight gain]
2. Advisors interaction with groups Advisors guidance & encouragement: still smoking and you’re a failure….there’s not that negativity at all, whereas it’s always, ‘Yea, you are but you can still do this.’ Everything’s dealt with in a very, very positive manner.….. it makes me quite happy to be open and honest about I’ve not been too good here. [NQ, ≤3% weight gain]
3. Mechanisms relating to individual participants Participant motivation: I think I took my mind off the goal which was to stop smoking and have a healthier lifestyle…. I can’t seem to get myself again focussed enough to get back on track, to think, ‘No, this is not where I want to be at this time’. [NQ, >3% weight gain]
  Barriers to weight management: When I first stopped the smoking I couldn’t stop eating sweet things, it was dreadful. [NQ, <3% weight gain]
4. Mechanisms specific to the intervention Influence of tools: : It’s quite nice to see how many steps you’ve done each day and I think it’s been a bit of challenge. [Q, ≤3%]
  Goal setting: It was a 12-mile walk…. I found it quite easy because I had been building maself up for it over a period of weeks. I do the gym three times a week. Ma sessions - I’ve upped them from half-an-hour to an hour. [Q, >3% weight gain]
  1. Q = quitter, NQ = non-quitter.