Baker, Rachel, Neil McHugh, & HelenMason (2017). Constructing statement sets for use in Q methodology studies. In Joanna Coast (Ed), Qualitative methods for health economics (pp. 163-174, Chap 9). London: Rowman & Littlefield International Ltd., 404 pp., ISBN: 9781783485628, £95.00 cloth, £32.95 paper.
Summary: The various steps of a Q-methodology study are described, with special emphasis on the creation of the sample of Q statements and discussion of both structured and unstructured Q sets. Two key features are said to characterize Q studies––the means of generating data and procedures for analysis––and the chapter concludes with observations about Q and mixed method research. The concept of concourse is introduced and the importance of locating entry points, or windows into conversation (such as transcripts, media, interviews, focus groups), is emphasized. Statements are collected and should not be overly long or complex, and they are taken from the concourse based on coverage (range and extent) and balance (avoiding bias in perspective) with the aim of achieving broad representativeness. Examples are given around the topics of life extension for the terminally ill, the pricing of pharmaceuticals, and the health budget. Stephenson’s study of Jung’s typology and Baker’s study of economic rationality are given as illustrative of a structured Q sample. Unstructured Q sets can be systematically composed based on post hoc categorization and emergent constructs. Qualitative aspects of Q methodology include not only the selection of statements but also the reflexive features of factor analysis, where the appropriateness of the factor solution takes into account the qualitative accounts of participants.
Rachel Baker <Rachel.Baker>, Neil McHugh, and Helen Mason are in the Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK.