The aim of this case study is to describe how we adapted the framework approach of qualitative data analysis to explore the patient-centeredness concept holistically, considering its dimensions and constructs, within the data we collected about goal setting. We used multiple qualitative methods to collect data from multiple sources (patient and staff interviews, goal-setting documents, and field notes) from seven cases. The first step in our data analysis was to carry out a conceptual analysis to define the concept of patient-centeredness and its various dimensions and components from the literature. We set out the identified dimensions and components from the conceptual analysis as an a priori framework in a matrix format. We then used content analysis to analyze the case study data by developing codes and categories, and then condensing each case as case summaries.
Selected data from each case summary were then mapped against each dimension of patient-centeredness in the matrix. We then screened the matrix to estimate the level of congruence between the different data sources. Once the presence of dimensions of patient-centeredness (intra-case analysis) and level of congruence were determined within each case, we compared this across the seven cases (cross-case analysis). Adapting the framework method to develop our own methods of analysis was helpful to investigate a complex phenomenon and a multidimensional concept in a holistic manner. It further enabled an auditable method of analysis. However, this method needs to be further tested in studies interrogating multidimensional social constructs within other complex social and health care processes.