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Table 1 Themes emerging from each round of convergent interviewing of 7 participants diagnosed with CSU.

From: Feasibility assessment of an 8-week attention-based training programme in the management of chronic spontaneous urticaria

Common themes emerging over 7 interviews Affirmative response to questions (n, %) Representative quotes
Do you believe stress causes your symptoms? 5, 71.4% “My urticaria is really stress-induced, a lot. Mostly stress induced or if I over-exert myself, like exercise too much.”
Early life stressful incident linked to symptoms 5, 71.4% “Very notable in my teens. I grew up in a family with alcoholism and Alzheimer’s under the one roof which is not easy. Plus bullying at school.”
Re-triggering of symptoms later in life by a stressor 5, 71.4% “It came again later with stress in college; house issues; partner split.”
Diagnosed allergies present including asthma 6, 85.7%  
Is sleep an issue? 6, 85.7  
Themes emerging from first round interview
 Frustration with medical treatment 6, 85.7% “I suppose the length of time before I got to come in and see anybody, that doesn’t help either.”
“It plays on your mind. Current medication Anti-histamines are not really working.”
 Stoicism/lacking self-compassion 7, 100% “You just have to get on with it; nobody will listen anyway”
 Eldest in family 2, 28.6%  
 Most responsible in family 6, 85.7%  
 Strong internal critic “oughts and shoulds” statements predominate 3, 42.8%  
Themes emerging from second round of interviews
 Alternative therapy used 4, 57.1% “I tried Yoga and Pilates and I can’t stand them because you have to be quiet and you don’t interact with people. I don’t like that.”
 No strong support 3, 42.8% “I don’t have the support that I really need.”
 A worrier 2, 28.6%  
 Forgetful 5, 72.4%  
 Checking behaviour 4, 57.1% “I regularly check things are turned off: light switches, cookers etc. It’s as if I’m on autopilot at times. If I’ve other things on my mind, I'm distracted.”
 Exhausted much of the time 3, 42.8%  
 Parent or family issues? 5, 71.4%  
Themes emerging from third round of interviews
 In your family, who gets the 2 am call (responsibility)? 3, 42.8% “I usually get the call when things happen.”
 Depression 2, 28.6%  
 Forgetful of names? 3, 42.8%  
Themes emerging from fourth round of interviews
 Restlessness 4, 57.1% “I can never relax or sit down. It always has to be me doing something. Being bored is the worst. Hate that. Constantly thinking about the next day. What am I going to do tomorrow? I know that I’m going a million miles an hour all the time. I need to relax.”
 Poor focus 4, 57.1%  
 Overthinking 4, 57.1%  
 Are you organised? 2, 28.6%