Concept mapping: an introduction to structured conceptualization in health care

Int J Qual Health Care. 2005 Jun;17(3):187-91. doi: 10.1093/intqhc/mzi038. Epub 2005 May 4.


Structured conceptualization is a specific form of concept mapping that is a mixed methods participatory approach that combines group processes (brainstorming, sorting, group interpretation) with a sequence of multivariate statistical analyses (multidimensional scaling, hierarchical cluster analysis). Concept mapping's relevance to health care quality and services is described. The basic steps and analysis sequence in the concept mapping method are outlined and a brief example of the results for a health planning project are presented. Several examples of the use of concept mapping in health are provided.

MeSH terms

  • Cluster Analysis
  • Concept Formation*
  • Consensus
  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration
  • Delivery of Health Care / standards*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Group Processes
  • Health Planning
  • Health Services Research / methods*
  • Humans
  • Program Evaluation
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care / classification*