Chung, Joohyun, & Chen, Hsiu-Chin (2020, March/April). Using Q methodology in nursing education research: A case study. Nurse Educator, 45(2), E19-E20. (doi: 10.1097/NNE.0000000000000692)

Abstract: Q methodology is a research technique, conceptual framework, and set of procedures used to study different points of view. Stephenson introduced Q methodology in the mid-1930s as an alternative to the popular statistical technique, factor analysis, by Spearman. Factor analysis, also called R methodology, is a method to reveal patterns of association between a series of measured variables such as comparing different individuals based on specific psychological traits or characteristics. Whereas a traditional factor analysis involves finding correlations between variables across a sample of subjects, Q methodology examines individuals’ points of view about a specific topic under investigation. A well-delivered Q methodology provides the key viewpoints among a group of participants and allows those viewpoints to be understood holistically. This article describes the use of Q methodology for nursing education research. A case study is provided to exemplify the steps necessary to successfully carry out a research study that uses Q methodology.

Joohyun Chung <jchung> is in the College of Nursing, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Dartmouth, MA.