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A Critical Overview of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis: A Contemporary Qualitative Research Approach

Context: Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) has become a dominant qualitative research methodology in many academic disciplines. The desire to understand the theoretical underpinnings of this research approach is evident.

Objective: This paper is aimed at providing an overview and limitations of IPA. This paper will hopefully equip researchers when deciding on the appropriate research methodology to their research topic.

Methods: A range of literature on qualitative research approach and phenomenology is reviewed. The relevant literatures on the theoretical underpinnings of IPA are examined.

Results: The article illuminates that IPA represents a highly useful methodology in providing a rich and nuance insight into the experiences of research participants.

Conclusion: IPA is a forward-looking research approach that adopts a flexible and versatile design to understand people’s experiences.


Isaac Tuffour

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  • China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI)
  • Cosmos IF
  • Directory of Research Journal Indexing (DRJI)
  • WorldCat
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  • Geneva Foundation for Medical Education and Research
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