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Table 3 Themes and subthemes, in relation to the interview’s structure

From: Female residents experiencing medical errors in general internal medicine: a qualitative study

Domains explored during the interviews Themes Subthemes
General considerations about medical errors 1. Insufficient culture of safety and error -
Residents’ personal experiences with errors 2. Perceived causes of errors Fatigue
Stress and work overload
Inadequate level of competences in relation to assigned tasks and/or
inadequate supervision
Dysfunctional communication
3. Negative feelings in response to errors Emotional distress
Self-doubt/loss of confidence
Anger against self
4. Variable attitudes of the hierarchy From very supportive to not supportive at all
Residents’ ways of coping 5. Talking about the error Talk to family members
‾ as the core coping mechanism To friends
To peers and colleagues
   To supervisors
   Disclose the error to the patient
  6. Defensive and constructive attitudes towards errors Share responsibility of the error with others
  Blame the system
  Consider the problem of error as normal
  Learn from one’s own errors and make changes in the future
Gender issues and errors 7. Gender-specific experiences in relation to errors Male residents perceived as more confident and less affected by errors
   Perceptions that sexist attitudes among male supervisors can occur