Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) is an approach to qualitative research that is now well-established in British psychology. This approach is concerned with understanding people's experiences of the world and of themselves. The aims of IPA studies have been met most frequently through the use of one-on-one interviews. Relatively few studies have used focus group discussions as the basis for IPA studies, but focus groups may provide rich experiential data. In this article, we describe a process for integrating focus group data into an IPA study. We developed this during a study of the experiences of carers of people with mental health problems. Here we outline the various steps of our analytic process and discuss how these might be employed and adapted by other researchers wishing to apply IPA's concern with personal experience to the analysis of focus group data.
- group discussions
- group interviews