The Accordion and the Deep Bowl of Spaghetti: Eight Researchers’ Experiences of Using IPA as a Methodology

Christopher Wagstaff, Hyeseung Jeong, Maeve Nolan, Tony Wilson, Julie Tweedlie, Elly Phillips, Halia Senu, Fiona Holland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Since 1996 Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) has grown rapidly and been applied in areas outside its initial “home” of health psychology. However, explorations of its application from a researcher's perspective are scarce. This paper provides reflections on the experiences of eight individual researchers using IPA in diverse disciplinary fields and cultures. The research studies were conducted in the USA, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and the UK by researchers with backgrounds in business management, consumer behaviour, mental health nursing, nurse education, applied linguistics, clinical psychology, health and education. They variously explored media awareness, employee commitment, disengagement from mental health services, in-vitro fertilisation treatment, student nurses' experience of child protection, second language acquisition in a university context, the male experience of spinal cord injury and academics experience of working in higher education and women’s experiences of body size and health practices. By bringing together intercultural, interdisciplinary experiences of using IPA, the paper discusses perceived strengths and weaknesses of IPA.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
JournalThe Qualitative Report
Issue number47
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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