A major task involved in the management, analysis, and integration of qualitative data is the development of a coding schema to facilitate the analytic process. Described in this paper is the evolution of a coding schema that was used in the analysis of qualitative data generated from online forums of middle-aged women with chronic conditions who participated in a computer support intervention in the rural west. The coding schema evolved over three phases of the research project and included coding tree nodes based on study-driven categories and nodes that arose from the data and changes in conceptual thinking. This paper provides researchers with information about a potential approach that can be used when coding large amounts of qualitative data from a multi-phased study.


Qualitative Data Analysis, Coding Trees, Chronic Illness


The Women to Women Conceptual Model for Adaptation to Chronic Illness was designed to guide the Women on Women Project-Phase III. The model was developed by Drs. Clarann Weinert, Wade Hill, Charlene Winters, Therese Sullivan, Lynn Paul, Deborah Haynes, Elizabeth Kinion, and Susan Luparell. Pat Oriet, BSN, Shirley Cudney, RN, MA, and Amber Spring, MS, also contributed.

The authors acknowledge Dr. Clarann Weinert, SC for her leadership of the Women to Women Project and the organizations providing funding.

Phase One: MSU College of Nursing Block Grant; Montanans on a New Trac for Science; American Cancer Society; American Association of Diabetes Educators; SC 1430 The Qualitative Report November 2010 Ministry Foundation; National Multiple Sclerosis Society; National Arthritis Foundation; U.S. Dept. of Agriculture; NIH/National Institute of Nursing Research (Shannon Award) (R55 NR04422-01A1).

Phase Two: NIH/National Institute of Nursing Research (1R01NR007908-01); Zeta Upsilon Research Award; SC Ministry Foundation; National Arthritis Foundation

Phase Three: National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Nursing Research (02R01NR007908-04A1); SC Ministry Foundation.

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