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Qualitative Data Analysis

We coded transcripts from our key informant interviews according to the methods of applied thematic analysis (Guest, MacQueen, and Namey, 2011). Two coders extracted data from the notes and transcripts and binned responses into thematic categories. Both coded 10 percent of interviews to check for consistency in coding practices. After any inconsistencies were discussed and resolved, the remaining interviews were coded according to the mutually agreed-upon set of thematic categories. These categories represented consistent and repeated messages from more than one key informant. In many cases, these messages were conveyed by interviewees across multiple Services and job functions (e.g., medical and operational) and at various levels within DoD (e.g., unit commanders, senior leaders). As such, quotes from interviewees represent consistent viewpoints from at least two informants. The overarching thematic categories correspond to the various levels of influence on sleep behaviors:

• military culture

• operational environment

• servicemember and leadership knowledge

• medical and treatment systems.

Figure 6.1 illustrates how these levels of influence relate to one another to affect sleep outcomes. Cultural, operational, and individual factors (servicemember and leadership knowledge of sleep-related issues) all have an impact on the continuum of sleep health—whether sleep problems are prevented and whether they are identified and subsequently treated. These categories, or levels of influence, also interact with medical and treatment systems. We also supplemented these qualitative data analyses with notes from the expert working group meeting.

Within these thematic categories are the specific barriers to healthy sleep practices described by our key informants and working group participants. In the following discussions of each thematic barrier, we provide representative quotes highlighting the perspectives of interviewees and working group participants.

 
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