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Nurse Res. 2013 Jan;20(3):28-32.

An introduction to Q methodology.

Author information

1
Department of Health Social Care at The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK. j.m.simons@open.ac.uk

Abstract

AIM:

To explain Q methodology, an untraditional approach to nursing research, by exploring the various stages involved in it and using two studies.

BACKGROUND:

Q has some of the advantages of qualitative and quantitative, methodologies. A defining principle of Q is its assumption that subjective viewpoints are amenable to systematic analysis. Q aims to identify shared views across a population. The orientation of the uncovered perspectives differs significantly from qualitative research and there is no researcher bias.

DATA SOURCES:

Studies on living with chronic pain and the therapeutic relationship in mental health nursing.

REVIEW METHODS:

A review of the advantages and disadvantages of Q.

DISCUSSION:

In areas where there are many contradictions and contrasting views, for example nursing practice, such a methodology could bring clarity in identifying subjective views of different groups. This article will first present the methodology followed by two examples of studies that have been carried out.

CONCLUSION:

This article demonstrates that Q has much to offer nurse researchers, because the identification of patients' viewpoints in a reliable way has the potential to help nurses to deliver evidence-based practice in response to patients' needs.

IMPLICATIONS FOR RESEARCH/PRACTICE:

Q methodology has much to offer nursing research because the identification of patients' viewpoints has the potential to enhance nurses' abilities to deliver responsive evidence-based practice.

PMID:
23346776
DOI:
10.7748/nr2013.01.20.3.28.c9494
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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