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Table 3 Example of the abstraction process from meaning units to themes

From: Sharing meals: promising nutritional interventions for primary health care including nursing students and elderly people

Meaning unit Category Theme
We put the food on plates. It looked more beautiful. Mealtime environment Improved meal preparation
We had two portions of the same meal and put the food on serving plates. Then we could help ourselves at the table and the portion would be smaller when appetite is poor. Food and nutritional tailoring
I was very lucky; we had good chemistry and it was all very nice. I looked forward to it and thought this is going to be nice. I tried to think: What can be good for this patient? Surroundings affecting the meal
I thought about fortification and energy-dense food, and I talked to the dependents about it... and it helped because her weight increased. Nutrition-related factors Mixed meal experiences
My host always talked about how nice it is to eat together. We experienced that it was very useful for her and a good thing. Facilitators for a good meal
The host liked to have a visit, but it was difficult that the visit was about food. She thought the visit was nice, and she is very social, but she didn’t manage to eat together with me. Barriers for a good meal
She has eaten very little because she has been lonely. Just eating with someone helped her a lot because she ate the whole portion when I was there. Appetite and enjoyment of the meal Significant experiences contributing to improved nutritional status
I noticed when we talked, he didn’t notice that he eats and then he eats more. Food intake
I worked together with the patient’s nurse and documented the different measures. Multidisciplinary nutritional care