The three clinical nurse consultants working in gastrointestinal surgery received 14 face-to-face hours of research training, including instruction in qualitative interview techniques. An interview guide facilitated a common approach to questioning. Each researcher interviewed patients and carers with whom they had no association during their hospital stay to reduce bias. Data were coded collectively between the three researchers. An independent coder experienced in qualitative research methods assessed and evaluated the data and validated the themes. This enhanced the coherence and consensus around research-decision-making (Roberts & Taylor, 1998, p. 173). We remained focussed on careful preparation of interview transcripts and the balanced integration of our philosophical interpretation with participant quotes to support the analysis of narratives and subsequent understanding of the phenomenon (de Witt & Ploeg, 2006).