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Table 1 Semi-structured interview guide

From: Ethical challenges in family caregivers of patients with advanced cancer – a qualitative study

Presentation of one’s own person. Recognition of the special situation through the loss of the patient and appreciation of the participation in the interview. Explanation of the goals of the study and interviewing.
Opening question (narration):
Can you describe specific decisions or situations that were difficult for you for ethical reasons? Were there decisions or situations where you wondered if you were or another person were doing the right thing? Please consider the time from the patient’s incurable diagnosis until death. You can take as much time as you want for telling me about your experiences.
Exmanent questions (when aspects were not mentioned during the narration, or to deepen the narration):
When you think of the decision or situation you have described …
Exploring morally troubling decisions or situations:
When did you experience this decision or situation in the course of the patient’s disease? What happened? Who was involved?
Exploring emotional burden:
How burdensome was it for you to be confronted with the decision or situation? Can you describe your feelings during that decision or situation? What stressors did you face?
Exploring resources:
Can you tell me how you dealt with the decision or situation? What did help you? What were sources of strength?
Exploring needs when dealing with the decision or situation:
What were your needs for information, advice and support? Were the needs met and if so, by whom / through what assistance? In which cases have needs / wishes possibly not been sufficiently taken into account?
Exploring unresolved decisions or situations:
Do you remember decisions or situations that you did not think could be solved or not satisfactorily? What were the reasons?
Exploring moral distress:
How much did the decision or the action you took / did not take correspond with your own moral expectations or values? If it did not, how did you feel at this time? What did help you to deal with these feelings? How do you currently feel (at peace, still bothering)?
Closing the interview
Do you have any questions or comments? Are there aspects that are important to you that have not yet been discussed in the interview?
How do you feel now? How did you experience the interview?