Qualitative methodologies II: A brief guide to applying Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis in musculoskeletal care

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In this paper, we conclude our two-part series discussing how readers of Musculoskeletal Care might employ qualitative methods. In the first paper of the series, we focused upon some issues surrounding the distinctions and similarities between qualitative and quantitative approaches, and outlined the origins, typology and limitations of qualitative methods. We introduced one particular qualitative research process which readers may find useful: interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). In this paper, we provide a guide to applying IPA via the design of an interview, a methodology with which it is particularly suited. We discuss some specific interview and interviewing processes and also some necessary ethical issues, including personal protection and participant wellbeing. We also discuss how to proceed through analysis while considering questions about the generalizability, reliability, validity and application of results. Finally, we question the overall direction of qualitative research, which we hope will fuel debate among readers. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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