Occupational therapy and interpretative phenomenological analysis: comparable research companions?
Authors: Cronin-Davis, Jane; Butler, Alan; Mayers, Christine A
Source: The British Journal of Occupational Therapy, Volume 72, Number 8, August 2009 , pp. 332-338(7)
Publisher: College of Occupational Therapists
Abstract:Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) is a research method gaining in popularity, particularly in health psychology and related fields. Derived from phenomenology, as the name suggests, it has potential for occupational therapy as an underpinning framework for research. This method was developed to enable researchers to provide participants with the opportunity to describe their perceptions of their lived experiences, which are subsequently interpreted by the researcher. A two-stage data process allows participants to make sense of their own world while the researcher attempts to make sense of participants' lived experiences.
IPA acknowledges that researchers cannot gain complete access to the participant's world and that each participant is an expert in his or her field. However, it does recognise that the researcher's analysis of this world is a dynamic and interpretative process. During the research analysis process, themes are identified and connected and followed by higher-order interpretation. Data can be collected using a variety of methods, including interviews, case studies and focus groups.
This paper describes the potential of IPA as an appropriate and worthy methodology for occupational therapists and, therefore, an important adjunct to the occupational therapy evidence base.
Document Type: Review Article
Publication date: 2009-08-01
The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.
BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at http://www.cot.co.uk/british-journal-bjot/british-journal-occupational-therapy
Submissions can be made at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/bjot
The 2012 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 1.096.
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