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Essentials of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis is a step-by-step guide to a research method that investigates how people make sense of their lived experience in the context of their personal and social worlds. It is especially well-suited to exploring experiences perceived as highly significant, such as major life and relationship changes, health challenges, and other emotion-laden events. IPA studies highlight convergence and divergence across participants, showing both the experiential themes that the participants share and the unique way each theme is manifested for the individual.
About the Essentials of Qualitative Methods book series: Even for experienced researchers, selecting and correctly applying the right method can be challenging. In this groundbreaking series, leading experts in qualitative methods provide clear, crisp, and comprehensive descriptions of their approach, including its methodological integrity, and its benefits and limitations. Each book includes numerous examples to enable readers to quickly and thoroughly grasp how to leverage these valuable methods.
Isabella E. Nizza is a qualitative researcher who specializes in researching the lived experience of chronic health conditions using IPA. For many years a corporate trainer and consultant, she is now part of the Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis Research Group within the Department of Psychological Sciences at Birkbeck University of London, where she also teaches qualitative methods. At the moment, she is working on a randomized controlled trial testing a psychological support intervention for young people with epilepsy, using IPA to assess the intervention’s psychological outcomes and process.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: What Is Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis?
A Note on Terminology
Theoretical Underpinnings of IPA
Chapter 2: Designing an IPA Study
Choosing a Topic and a Research Question
Determining What Type of Data to Collect
Sampling and Recruiting Participants
Practical and Ethical Considerations
Chapter 3: Collecting Data
Rationale for an Interview Guide
How to Design an Interview Guide
Conducting the Interview
Chapter 4: Analyzing the Data: Starting With the First Case
Step 1. Reading and Exploratory Notes
Step 2. Formulating Experiential Statements
Step 3. Finding Connections and Clustering Experiential Statements
Step 4. Compiling the Table of Person Experiential Themes
Some More Thoughts on Clustering and Compiling
One Case or More Than One Case?
Chapter 5: Cross-Case Analysis
Chapter 6: Writing Up the Study
Other Sections of an IPA Manuscript
Chapter 7: Variations on the Method and More Complex Designs
Chapter 8: Methodological Integrity
Chapter 9: Summary and Conclusions
Deciding Whether IPA Is the Right Methodology for You
Appendix: Exemplar Studies
About the Authors
About the Series Editors
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