Brocki, Joanna and Wearden, Alison (2006) A critical evaluation of the use of interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) in health psychology. Psychology and Health, 21 (1). pp. 87-108. ISSN 0887-0446

With the burgeoning use of qualitative methods in health research, criteria for judging their value
become increasingly necessary. Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) is a distinctive
approach to conducting qualitative research being used with increasing frequency in published
studies. A systematic literature review was undertaken to identify published papers in the area of health psychology employing IPA. A total of 52 articles are reviewed here in terms of the
following: methods of data collection, sampling, assessing wider applicability of research and
adherence to the theoretical foundations and procedures of IPA. IPA seems applicable and useful
in a wide variety of research topics. The lack of attention sometimes afforded to the interpretative
facet of the approach is discussed.


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