IPA is an experiential qualitative approach developed by Jonathan A Smith. IPA is phenomenological in that it is concerned with a detailed examination of personal lived experience. It is interpretative as it recognises that this process involves an active process of interpretation on the part of the researcher. IPA is idiographic as it is committed to the detailed study of the particular case before moving to more general claims.
IPA is used extensively by researchers in the fields of health, clinical and social psychology and is also now being used by researchers in a wide range of other disciplines for example: health, management, sport and exercise, music. IPA is used by resesarchers in many different countries.