Interactive qualitative analysis: a systems method for qualitative research

Both authors work at the University of Texas at Austin, and neither has a background in healthcare research. The stated aim of their text is to: ‘help students unscramble the mysteries of qualitative data collection, coding and analysis…’ And they propose using a ‘systematic, qualitative technique: interactive qualitative analysis (IQA)’. There is a hint here that perhaps other approaches to qualitative analysis are not systematic, and that this is not a good thing.

The opening chapter, cleverly entitled ‘Paradigm Wars’, reviews the qualitative v quantitative debate, which is as perennial as the ‘nature v nurture’ debate in psychology. It does this briefly but quite well, with a little bit of philosophy thrown in for good measure — indeed there is a fair smattering of philosophy throughout. The chapter concludes with an analysis of the beliefs and values of IQA.

Chapter two, ‘ Systems a s Representations’, examines the nature of reality and explores the question quid est veritas? What is truth? What do we mean when we say something is true? Are there different types of truth? Chapter three then goes on to place IQA in the context of the research process. The path or ‘flow’ of research in IQA has, we are told, four distinct phases: research design, focus group, interview and report. It seems then that IQA is not simply another


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