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Table 4 Categories and subcategories in the baseline group (B) and in the intervention group (I), for children 5–10 and 11–17 years (y)

From: Children’s experiences and responses towards an intervention for psychological preparation for radiotherapy

Category Subcategory B B I I
   5–10 y 11–15 y 5–10 y 11–17 y
Positive and negative experiences with hospital stays and practical arrangements Appreciating activities, being bored, and disliking waiting time x x x x
  Being together with, or missing siblings and peers x x x x
Age-appropriate information, communication, and guidance to various degrees Having/lacking/missing information and communication about what is going to happen x x x x
  Having an exploratory visit and meeting with the staff at the radiotherapy ward x x x x
Struggle with emotions Being afraid and feeling anxiety x x x x
  Disliking and accepting the mask, the dot tattoo, and the machine x x x x
  Finding the right position and remaining motionless x x x x
  Disliking the sensations x
  Suffering physical and psychological problems to various extents x x x
  Appreciating small gift x x
Use of distraction and other suitable coping strategies Using a suitable media distraction x x x x
  Using problem-solving activities x x x
  Using strategies to deal with emotions x x x x
  Wanting parents close by before, during, and after treatment x x
  Seeking support from parents, staff and peers x x