Longitudinal qualitative research and interpretative phenomenological analysis: philosophical connections and practical considerations
Qualitative longitudinal research designs are commonly considered a sensible orientation to exploring concepts of time and change. However, as a stand-alone method, qualitative longitudinal research has been criticized for its lack of philosophical and theoretical foundation (Hermanowicz 2013). This article explores the key tenets of qualitative longitudinal research and aligns with the notion that qualitative longitudinal designs be fused with other qualitative methods of data collection and analysis to enhance experimental trustworthiness (Calman, Brunton & Molassiotis 2013). Specifically, this article posits that a longitudinal design aligns well with the epistemological and ontological foundations of the interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA) method to highlight longitudinal IPA as an emerging and distinctive qualitative methodology (Smith, Flowers & Larkin 2009). Practical considerations for conducting longitudinal IPA are also provided.
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