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Areas of research interest

My research has involved the development of interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) as a particular experiential qualitative approach in psychology and its application to a range of areas in health, social and clinical psychology. IPA is phenomenological in that it attempts to understand the lived experience of participants and how participants make sense of those experiences but it emphasises that this involves a process of interpretation by the researcher. IPA also has an idiographic commitment to the detailed study of each individual case.

IPA usually involves the systematic qualitative analysis of transcripts of semi-structured interviews conducted with participants. The main themes in my research have been: life transitions and identity; psycho-social aspects of genetics; family and health.

I run the IPA@BBK Research Group comprised of staff, postdocs and PhD students. We have fortnightly research meetings to exchange ideas, read papers and analyse data.

See also the main IPA Website for further information of events, national and international groups, reading suggestions etc

Current research studies

  • Evaluating an intervention for combordity (epilepsy and psychological health problems) in young people (with Roz Shafran, ICH et al) Programme grant funded by NIHR.
  • Long term evalation of impact of multisystemic therapy v. management as usual for young people with conduct disorder (with Peter Fonagy, UCL et al.) Programme grant funded by NIHR.
  • Applying the Medical Research Council guidance to develop and evaluate interventions to support uptake and adherence to antiretroviral therapy for HIV (with Rob Horne, Institute of Pharmacy et al.) Programme grant funded by NIHR.
  • The experience of a narrative intervention for participants affected by Huntington's Disease ( with Rhona Macleod et al). Funded by EHDN through Manchester University.
  • The phenomenology of depression (with John Rhodes, clinical psychologist in practice).
  • The lived experience of Parkinson's disease. (with Virginia Eatough, Birkbeck)

Recent studies

  • Communicating genetic results within families (with Susan Michie, UCL et al.)
  • Deciding whether to take the test for Huntington’s disease (with Oliver Quarrell, Sheffield)
  • The experience of ileostomy with (Adam Nicholls, Hull et al.)
  • Young people, gender and alcohol (with Richard de Visser, Sussex et al.)

Professor Jonathan A Smith