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Table 3 Examples of quotes assigned to illness phases and sub-categories of impacting factors

From: Factors impacting the illness trajectory of post-infectious fatigue syndrome: a qualitative study of adults’ experiences

Main categories: Illness trajectory & Impacting factors
Category Illness trajectory
Sub-categories Prodromal Downward Turning Upward Chronic
Category Impacting factors
Unhelpful medically-related external factors Three months untreated The doctor threw me out, wouldn’t have me as her patient.
An enigma to the GP.
Not many [health care providers] have knowledge of this I did not get the [PIFS] diagnosis until March [4 years after the outbreak] Yes, it is difficult to access help, causes very much frustration
internal factors
I did not know what it was I have made wrong choices by trying to keep working I did not define myself as sick before I could not get out bed That is obviously what I am still doing [over-estimating my own physical capacity] I see how I go back to the old pattern again when I start feeling better
Helpful medically-related external factors I received a course of antibiotics   Yes, when I got diagnosed [by the neurologist] it was actually a relief   I think some of the sessions [of the education course] were very helpful
internal factors
   [It] just turned when I stared teaming with myself I have become good at saying no and setting limits Now, when I have regained some energy, I will contact [friends] again