Hensel, Desirée, Coleen Toronto, Jane Lawless, & Johanna Burgess (2022, February). A scoping review of Q methodology nursing education studies. Nurse Education Today, 109, art. 105220. (Open Access: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2021.105220)

Abstract: Objectives: The purpose of this review was to examine the characteristics of published Q methodology nursing education studies including the purposes, the methodological variations, and the major implications to inform best practices. Design: Scoping review design using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews Extension for Scoping Reviews. Data sources: Academic Search Complete, CINAHL Complete, Education Research Complete, Embase, ERIC, Proquest Nursing and Allied Health, PubMed, PsycInfo, SocINDEX, and the Web of Science Core Collection. Review methods: A comprehensive search of English language journal articles was conducted for Q methodology studies published between 2015 and 2020 that used undergraduate nursing students or nursing faculty as participants. Data were extracted using a modified version of the Assessment Review Instrument for Q Methodology. Results: Eighteen studies from five countries met inclusion criteria. The majority were single-site studies and used nursing students as participants. The number of stimuli for sorting in the Q sample ranged from 21 to 60. Study aims fell into three broad domains: attitudes about patient populations or settings (N = 7), perceptions about teaching methods (N = 9), or beliefs about professional/practice issues (N = 2). Seven studies specifically explored simulation. Unique viewpoints discovered ranged from one to five in each study. Findings were used to inform teaching, create curricula, evaluate programs, and to generate more questions for study. Strategies for reporting the Q methodology research steps and findings varied significantly. Conclusion: Q methodology is a useful research approach to discover variations in perspectives to inform best educational practices. Use of a standardized flow sheet could enhance reporting the Q methodological approach which may lead to a better understanding and acceptance of the method in the discipline

Desirée Hensel <henselnursinged@gmail.com> is with Hensel Nursing Education Consulting, Doreset VT. Coleen Toronto <ctoronto0712@curry.edu> is in the College of Nursing; and Jane Lawless <jlawless@curry.edu> and Johanna Burgess <johanna.burgess@curry.edu> are in the Levin Library, Curry College, Milton, MA (USA).