Service user involvement enhanced the research quality in a study using interpretative phenomenological analysis - the power of multiple perspectives
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of Advanced Nursing. 2017, 73 (1), 265-278. 10.1111/jan.13093
Aim: To examine how service user involvement can contribute to the development of interpretative phenomenological analysis methodology and enhance research quality. Background: Interpretative phenomenological analysis is a qualitative methodology used in nursing research internationally to understand human experiences that are essential to the participants. Service user involvement is requested in nursing research. Design: We share experiences from four years of collaboration (2012 – 2015) on a mental health promotion project, which involved an advisory team. Methods: Five research advisors either with a diagnosis or related to a person with severe mental illness constituted the team. They collaborated with the research fellow throughout the entire research process and have co-authored this article. We examined the joint process of analyzing the empirical data from interviews. Our analytical discussions were audiotaped, transcribed and subsequently interpreted following the guidelines for good qualitative analysis in interpretative phenomenological analysis studies. Results: The advisory team became ‘the researcher's helping hand’. Multiple perspectives influenced the qualitative analysis, which gave more insightful interpretations of nuances, complexity, richness or ambiguity in the interviewed participants’ accounts. The outcome of the service user involvement was increased breadth and depth in findings. Conclusion: Service user involvement improved the research quality in a nursing research project on mental health promotion. The interpretative element of interpretative phenomenological analysis was enhanced by the emergence of multiple perspectives in the qualitative analysis of the empirical data. We argue that service user involvement and interpretative phenomenological analysis methodology can mutually reinforce each other and strengthen qualitative methodology.