Table 1

Relationship between codes, descriptive themes and analytical themes

Analytical themesDescriptive themesCodes
Uncertainty: introduction and adaptationExperience of diagnosis
Coping with diagnosis
Thinking about the future
Feeling helpless during diagnostic period
Waiting for diagnosis
Diagnosis did not seem real
Diagnosis brings uncertainty
Planning ahead
Identifying cause
Trying to take control
Waiting for appointments
Seeking prognosis
Knowledge helps to feel safe
A new normalRelationships with family and friends
Values and perspectives
Day-to-day life
A lot of travel
Constant presence of illness
Condition continually demanding
Constant hypervigilance
Disruptions to everyday life
Spontaneity is difficult
Others do not understand
Relationship with partner became stronger
Conflict with partner
Lack of support from friends and family
Professionals reinforcing fathers’ role perceptionsEmotional experiences
Sharing of emotions and support
Relationship with professionals
Lack of sensitivity from healthcare professionals
Lasting emotional impact of hospital experience
Lack of information
Need reassurance from professionals
Treated differently to mothers
Lack of recognition of emotional strain
Support more readily available for mothers
Perceived as being the strong parent
Need to be strong for others
Loneliness for fathers
Working fathers: role conflictWorkplace experiencesCareer adaption due to diagnosis
Able to work remotely
Lack of understanding at work
Colleagues understanding
Unable to concentrate
Loss of employment
Work restricts appointment attendance
Pressure to succeed at work
Opportunities for support restricted by work
Would like more flexibility at work
Pressures at home affected work