Q Dissertation: Pelham on prescriber perceptions while managing pain

Welham, Grace C. (2015). Prescriber perceptions while managing pain. Doctoral dissertation, Social and Administrative Science in Pharmacy, University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Introduction: This study used Q methodology to explore and describe prescriber perceptions while managing pain. Patient psychological and sociocultural context impact the pain experienced by different patients. From a quality of care perspective, it is important for prescribers who manage and treat pain to recognize these differences. Objectives: Phase 1: Objective 1a explored a prescriber-level model of what influences decision-making in pain management. Objective 1b created a sample of items from Objective 1a to be sorted and ranked in Phase 2. Phase 2: Objective 2a used a by-person factor analysis to identify prescriber “types.” Objective 2b described the prescriber types through interpretation of the factors that emerged from Objective 2a. Methods: Phase 1 of this study used semi-structured interviews to qualitatively explore Primary Care Prescriber perceptions of pain management to develop the Concourse of responses. From the Concourse, the Q-set was developed, which forms the statements that were sorted and ranked by prescribers who completed the Q-sort. The Q-sort is a method of data collection that allowed by-person factor analysis. The Q-sort was administered as part of a self-administered, paper-based questionnaire. By-person factor analysis identified prescriber types that emerged from the Q-sort data. Results: Three prescribers types were identified. Confident Clinicians focused on clinical characteristics of the patient, developed a treatment plan based on those characteristics, and worked with the patient to determine the best treatment. Sensitive Psychologists, while also considering clinical characteristics, focused more intently on patient psycho-behavioral characteristics. They were sensitive to the increased potential for abuse or addiction in patients with poor psychological status. The Seasoned Realists considered the patients most holistically, and recognized that no matter their treatment of choice, the patient must be able to access the treatment. Conclusions: The three prescriber types that emerged from the data share common perspectives of pain as they are all trained in the allopathic tradition. However, certain perceptions distinguished the Sensitive Psychologists and the Seasoned Realists from the Confident Clinicians. These distinguishing perceptions are what can be used to differentiate prescribers by their perceptions. The main limitations of this study are the lack of generalizability and a reliance on self-report.

Q Dissertation: Sisneros on Westerners’ attachment to public lands

Sisneros, Chris (2015). Understanding Westerners’ relationship with public lands and federal land managers through attachment to public lands. Doctoral dissertation, Sociology, Social Work and Anthropology, Utah State University.

Abstract: The vast swathes of public lands in the western U.S. have long been connected with both the culture and daily lives of the people that live near them. The purpose of this study is to understand the relationship that individuals have with public lands and how that relationship relates to their opinions about the federal agencies (specifically the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management) that oversee those public lands. This is done through the use of the affective bond attachment to public lands, which is the degree to which individuals feel connected to public lands through both the opportunities they provide to enjoy their desired lifestyle, functional connections, and the ways in which personal identity is tied to those lands, emotional connections. Assessing this bond is done through analysis and interpretation of selected data from the 2007 Public Lands and Utah Communities survey, which looked at a variety of connections Utah residents have to the state’s many public lands. This study utilizes a novel statistical method known as the “inverted-R analysis,” which groups respondents based on answers to a variety of attitudinal measures, to develop three distinct typologies of attachment to public lands. Analysis of differences between the groups of respondents that expressed different types of attachment revealed no correlation between attachment to public lands and opinions about land managers. All respondents expressed generally negative sentiment towards both Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management land managers. However, respondents who expressed a stronger attachment to public lands also demonstrated higher levels of interaction with public lands. Additionally, functional and emotional connections to public lands were shown to operate as two separate parts of attachment to public lands. This reinforces the modeling of the conceptualization attachment to public lands after the related concept, place attachment. This study demonstrated both the strong connections individuals in Utah have with public lands and the strong opinions held about the agencies that manage those lands.

Q Dissertation: Ottawa on mentoring to improve first-year teachers’ experience

Wottawa, Robert J., II. (2016). Expert advice from mentor teachers to improve first-year teachers’ teaching and first-year experience. Doctoral dissertation (Interdisciplinary Educational Studies), Long Island University, C. W. Post Center.

Abstract: This study adopted an interdisciplinary perspective and employed Q methodology as a mixed-methods approach to uncover the tacit knowledge (as defined by Polanyi, 1966) of mentor teachers and provided shared viewpoints of advice to improve first-year teachers. Advice was elicited from mentor teachers from public schools on Long Island and the greater metropolitan region of New York to provide first-year high school teachers the necessary guidance to improve their teaching effectiveness and first-year experience. Eight themes of advice: (a) classroom management; (b) lesson planning; (c) technology; (d) assessment and data; (e) content knowledge; (f) communication and relationships; (g) professionalism; and (h) other insights emerged through a series of 11 expert teacher interviews prior to developing the 56 advice statements, that were then used for an anonymous online Q sorting survey by high school mentor teachers (n = 71). The analysis revealed eight shared viewpoints of 99% of the participants and explains 56.2% of the variance. The eight Q models represent eight hypothetical mentor teachers reflecting advice to improve the effectiveness of first-year teachers. Generalized linear modeling (GLM) was used to predict factor loadings of individual respondents on each Q model, where the dependent variables represent the covariates including: (a) content area, (b) teaching experience, and (c) highest education level. The findings have implications for tacit knowledge development and transference, expert advice, and recommendations for educational practice, teacher preparation programs and future research. Keywords: advice, expert judgment, explicit knowledge, first-year teacher, mentor teacher, Q methodology, tacit knowledge.

Q Bibliography: Weldegiorgis and Ali on impacts of mineral resources and development in Rwanda

Weldegiorgis, Fitsum S., & Saleem H. Ali (2016, September). Mineral resources and localised development: Q-methodology for rapid assessment of socioeconomic impacts in Rwanda. Resources Policy, 49, 11 pp., in press. (doi: 10.1016/j.resourpol.2016.03.006) (Text accessible: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301420716300381#)


•Factor analysis resulted in three shared perspectives on mining related issues.•Shared view resulted that mining benefits outweigh social and environmental losses.•Differed degree of acceptance of mining project impacts and prioritisation of value.•Hybrid of Q-sort, focus groups and interviews enhanced veracity of information.•Further research needed to re-evaluated and triangulate findings with other methods.
Abstract: The regional impacts of large development projects often require rapid appraisal in confined geographies. Impacts have largely been studied at country level, which have often neglected a finer granularity of analysis at sub-national level, which has specific relevance in Africa, since many mineral conflicts on the continent are highly localised. This study applies Q-methodology to quantitatively analyse qualitative perspectives regarding impacts of mining-led development at a district level in Rwanda – a densely populated country with a high economic growth rate. This approach revealed three classes of shared perspectives regarding topics of greatest concern to stakeholders: (a) economic diversification and sustainable socioeconomic development; (b) employment, resettlement, and mining land-use; and (c) income, benefit distribution, and social impacts. The use of this method to consolidate qualitative data through a deliberative process to get an output that can be used for broader geographic comparisons holds much promise for researchers and practitioners alike working in geographies of rapid development.

Fitsum S Weldegiorgis <f.weldegiorgis> is with the Sustainable Minerals Institute, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.

Q Dissertation: Lopienski on educational leaders’ understandings of career readiness

Lopienski, Sarah A. (2016).  How do educational leaders understand career readiness: A Q-methodological study.  Doctoral dissertation, Department of Educational Studies, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio.
Abstract: The journey to understanding career readiness has never been more difficult for today’s Kindergarten through grade 12 (K-12) educational leaders. In this study, data was analyzed using Q-methodology which discovered three factors holding five interpretable viewpoints. K-12 educational leaders not only presented an understanding about career readiness as developing the appropriate knowledge, skills and abilities to compete in the 21st century global economy, but also identified with aspects of vocational psychology’s perspective of career including self-awareness, making meaning in one’s life, and having a drive and desire to succeed. Data interpretation and analysis emphasized the need for K-12 educational leaders to re-create K-12 school culture by developing students who are employable while strategically positioning each student’s unique life stories to find purpose and meaning in life.
Sarah A. Lopienski <slopienski@gmail.com> is Vice President of School Operations, Educational Empowerment Group <http://www.edempowerment.com>, Akron, OH, U.S.A.

Q Bibliography: Bang and Kim on Korean and American praising styles and teaching practices

Bang, Hyeyoung, & Jungsud Kim (2016, Winter). Korean and American teachers’ praising styles and teaching practices. Mid-Western Educational Researcher, 28(1), 3-29.


Praising is a crucial part of teaching performance that greatly impacts student performance and self-esteem. South Korean teachers are traditionally known to possess authoritarian attributes, whereas U.S. teachers have contradictory beliefs in terms of why and how to use praise. We used Q methodology among 16 American and 22 Korean teachers to understand their subjective views on their teaching and praising practices, intentions and orientations of praising in teaching. Five praising types were obtained. Most American teachers, dubbed as Proud Hedonistic Praisers, showed strong confidence in their teaching and a higher preference of praising. In contrast, most Korean teachers had diverse praising intentions and orientations, dubbed as Humanistic (avoid praising), Authoritarian Behaviorist (use of criticism for controlling students’ behaviors and learning), Hedonistic Behaviorist (praise for maintaining good relations with students), or Student-centered Hedonistic Praisers (praise to help students).

Hyeyoung Bang <hbang@bgsu.edu> is in Educational Psychology, College of Education and Human Development, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH (USA).

Q Bibliography: Ramlo on centroid factor analysis and theoretical rotation

Ramlo, Sue (2016, Winter). Centroid and theoretical rotation: Justification for their use in Q methodology research. Mid-Western Educational Researcher, 28(1), 72-91.


This manuscript’s purpose is to introduce Q as a methodology before providing clarification about the preferred factor analytical choices of centroid and theoretical (hand) rotation. Stephenson, the creator of Q, designated that only these choices allowed for scientific exploration of subjectivity while not violating assumptions associated with other choices like principal components (PCA) and Varimax. Although Q software offers Stephenson’s preferred choices as factor analytic options, today most Q methodologists use the more “modern” factor analytical choices of PCA and Varimax. Similarly, reviewers and critics of Q research often question the use of centroid with theoretical rotation, further discouraging their use. Researchers who took statistics coursework since the advent of statistical computer software are unfamiliar with centroid and theoretical rotation, their history, their processes, and why they offer a means of best scientifically exploring pragmatic, meaningful factor analytical solutions within Q methodology studies. Statistical versus theoretical considerations are discussed.

Sue Ramlo <sramlo> is in the Departments of Engineering & Science Technology and Curricular & Instructional Studies, University of Akron, OH, USA.

Q Bibliography: Meshaka et al. on the involvement of pregnant women in research

Meshaka, Riwa, Stephen Jeffares, Farah Sadrudin, Nicole Huisman, & Ponnusamy Saravanan (2016, February). Why do pregnant women participate in research? A patient participation investigation using Q-methodology. Health Expectations, in press. ePublication prior to print.


Patient participation in study design is paramount to design studies that are acceptable to patients. Despite an increase in research involving pregnant women, relatively little is known about the motivational factors that govern their decision to be involved in a clinical trial, compared to other patient groups. Objective: To better understand the viewpoints of pregnant women who take part in clinical trials. Method: We chose to use Q-Methodology, a method of exploring the structure of opinions surrounding a topic. We developed a set of 40 statements that encompassed the reasons why pregnant women might want to take part in research and 30 research participants from the PRiDE study (an observational trial investigating the role of micronutrients in gestational diabetes) were asked to rank them in order of agreement. The finished matrices from each participant were compared and analysed to produce capturing viewpoints. Results: About 30 women aged 19-40 involved in the PRiDE study completed the questionnaire. There were two overarching motivators that emerged: a willingness to help medical research and improve our knowledge of medical science, and having a personal connection to the disease, therefore a potential fear of being affected by it. A third, less significant viewpoint, was that of a lack of inconvenience being a motivating factor. Conclusion and discussion: Understanding what motivates pregnant women to decide to take part in a research study is valuable and helps researchers maximize their uptake and retention rates when designing a trial involving pregnant women.

Ponnusamy Saravanan <p.saravanan> is in the Warwick Medical School, Coventry, UK.

Q Bibliography: Chandran et al. on designing a transboundary enforcement monitoring system

Chandran, Remi, Robert Hoppe, W.T. De Vries, & Yola Georgiadou (2015, October 15). Conflicting policy beliefs and informational complexities in designing a transboundary enforcement monitoring system. Journal of Cleaner Production, 105, 447-460. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.12.068) (previously posted as in press)


Recognizing the need for a crowd sourced geospatial decision support system to monitor wildlife crime, in 2005, a team of scientists at the United Nations University (UNU) designed a GIS-based transboundary monitoring system, called Wildlife Enforcement Monitoring System (WEMS). The tool was intended to support the compliance monitoring task of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES Secretariat questioned the WEMS prototype due to the significant role it accorded to certain Non-governmental organizations in the information collection process. Subsequently, it led to the redesign of WEMS, where governments were the custodians of enforcement information. In this paper, we explain why the previous NGO based design of WEMS was a concern for CITES secretariat. We applied Q methodology, a research method used to study people’s “subjectivity”, to elicit the ways of thinking of wildlife conservation actors in India, Japan and Thailand, countries where the NGO based WEMS were intended to be piloted. Our analysis revealed four competing perspectives of wildlife conservation, namely – ecocentrism, mix of neoliberalism and anthropocentrism, authoritarianism and scientific rationalism; each with a particular implication on the adoption of a decision support system to monitor wildlife crime. The findings of our study reveal that scientific experts cannot expect unwavering support from the other groups for their aspirations, though they agree that some form of science mechanism is one way forward in bringing a policy consensus. We conclude that, transboundary enforcement information sharing is a complex problem where information system designers or policy makers alone cannot judge its acceptance within a policy context. Since very few studies have been carried out on linking the actor-belief dynamics in a decision support system and its use in environmental policy making within the context of a MEA, this study brings more insight in understanding the inherent policy challenges in information sharing within MEAs and broadly, across the disciplines of environmental governance.

Remi Chandran <r.chandran> <chandran.remi@nies.go.jp> is in the Department of Earth Observation Science, University of Twente, The Netherlands, and the Center for Social and Environmental Systems Research, National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba-City, Japan. He is responsible for having developed the Wildlife Enforcement Monitoring System (WEMS) (see Government Information Quarterly, 28, 231-238).

Corresponding author. Center for Social and Environmental Systems Research,
National Institute for Environmental Studies, 16-2 Onogawa, Tsukuba-City, 305-
8506 Ibaraki, Japan.