A systematic literature review of the applications of Q-technique and its methodology

Dziopa, Fiona and Ahern, Kathryn J. (2011) A systematic literature review of the applications of Q-technique and its methodology. Methodology: European Journal of Research Methods for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, 7 2: 39-55.

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Author Dziopa, Fiona
Ahern, Kathryn J.
Title A systematic literature review of the applications of Q-technique and its methodology
Journal name Methodology: European Journal of Research Methods for the Behavioral and Social Sciences   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1614-1881
1614-2241
Publication date 2011-01
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1027/1614-2241/a000021
Volume 7
Issue 2
Start page 39
End page 55
Total pages 17
Place of publication Cambridge, MA, United States
Publisher Hogrefe Publishing
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Abstract Q-methodology is a technique incorporating the benefits of both qualitative and quantitative research. Q-method involves Q-sorting, a method of data collection and factor analysis, to assess subjective (qualitative) information. The use of Q-sorting and factor analysis has often resulted in the misconception that Q-methodology involves psychometric or quantitative assessment, although Q as a methodology actually enables the systematic assessment of qualitative data. Misconceptions regarding Q have resulted in a heterogeneous collection of Q-applications in the extant literature, which has obscured the fundamental principles of Q-methodology. The purpose of this paper is to present a systematic review of Q-based research to investigate the criteria researchers have used to develop Q-studies. Published research studies between January 2008 and December 2008 that employed Q-techniques and methodology were assessed. Data were extracted and synthesized through the development and use of the Assessment and Review Instrument for Q-methodology (ARIQ). Fourteen research studies met the inclusion criteria for the review. The Q-methodological studies were disparate in their application of terminology, instrument development, and factor analysis, although data extraction and synthesis processes revealed two types of studies: those which aimed to apply conventional Q-methodology and those which applied variations of Q-techniques. It is concluded that variations of Q-technique and its methodology are unavoidable. However, this does not obviate the need for researchers to explicitly state their rationale for decisions to deviate from conventional Q-methodology if they are to produce demonstrably valid research. The review instrument (ARIQ) developed for this review will facilitate this end.
Keyword Literature review
Q-methodology
Q-sort
Q-technique
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Nursing and Midwifery Publications
 
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