The use of interviews in Q methodology: card content analysis

Nurs Res. Jul-Aug 2010;59(4):295-300. doi: 10.1097/NNR.0b013e3181e4ffff.


Background: Although much has been published in the literature on how to perform a Q methodological study, the use of interviews within this process has received little attention.

Approach: The purpose of this review is to explore the use of interviews in a Q methodological study.

Results: An introduction to Q methodology is provided. The aims of an interview within a Q methodological study are described, and how these aims lend themselves to a particular method of analysis is explored. How to perform this analysis is outlined.

Discussion: The use of interviews can increase the validity of a Q methodological study by providing the participant's rationale for analysis of the factor arrays. When to perform the interviews is still under debate, and further study is required to determine whether the timing affects the results.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health
  • Data Collection
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic / methods*
  • Interviews as Topic / standards
  • Nursing Methodology Research / methods*
  • Nursing Methodology Research / standards
  • Q-Sort* / standards
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Research Design