A whole family of qualitative methods is informed by phenomenological philosophy. When applying these methods, the material is analyzed using concepts from this philosophy to interrogate the findings and to enable greater theoretical analysis. However, the phenomenological approach represents different approaches, from pure description to those more informed by interpretation. Phenomenological philosophy developed from a discipline focusing on thorough descriptions, and only descriptions, toward a greater emphasis on interpretation being inherent in experience. An analogous development toward a broader acknowledgment of the need for interpretation, the influence of the relationship and the researcher, and the co-construction of the narrative is mirrored in qualitative analytic theory and the description of newer analytic methods as, for example, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis and Critical Narrative Analysis, methods which are theoretically founded in phenomenology. This methodological development and the inevitable contribution of interpretation are illustrated by a case from my own research about psychological interventions and the process of understanding in general practice.
Qualitative Research in Psychology, 2013, Vol 10, Issue 3, p. 318-339