The interview data was interpreted using a Heideggerian hermeneutic phenomenological approach. The researchers became intimately
immersed with the data during intense discussions and periods of reflection. The QSR International NVivo software package version 8 assisted with initial coding to organise the data into working themes. The researchers eventually became aware of defining themes or essences of the experience. This essence acted as a lens through which to interpret the broad participant experience; the point of entry into Heidegger's 'hermeneutic circle'. The hermeneutic circle is explained as a 'notable relatedness backward or forward' (Heidegger, 1927/1996, p. 6) interpreting participant quotes and stories against the greater back drop of the essence of the experience for people within their family and community (Fagerberg & Norberg, 2009). This approach allowed the creation of a 'thick' (rich and descriptive) narrative (Ryle, 1968) that explained meanings of actions and narratives within the experience of illness and hospitalisation.