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Table 1 Key characteristics of a grounded theory study [17, 44]

From: Measured, opportunistic, unexpected and naïve quitting: a qualitative grounded theory study of the process of quitting from the ex-smokers’ perspective

• In a grounded theory study, theory is generated rather than tested.
• Data collection and analysis are cyclical and take place throughout the study.
• The sampling strategy (and sample size) is not pre-determined but is instead flexible.
• Recruitment continues until the central concepts in the developing theory are well understood (i.e. theoretical saturation is reached).
• Analysis typically involves:
(1) coding, in which the researcher develops codes to specify elements of the process under study
(2) memoing, in which the researcher writes analytical memos exploring how elements in the process under study relate to one another and the range of variation in the process
(3) diagramming or modeling, in which the researcher maps the relationships between elements in the process under study.
As analysis progresses, data collection and analysis become more focused on clarifying and relating an ever-decreasing number of central concepts.