Q-Sample Construction: A Critical Step for a Q-Methodological Study

West J Nurs Res. 2016 Jan;38(1):96-110. doi: 10.1177/0193945914545177. Epub 2014 Aug 4.


Q-sample construction is a critical step in Q-methodological studies. Prior to conducting Q-studies, researchers start with a population of opinion statements (concourse) on a particular topic of interest from which a sample is drawn. These sampled statements are known as the Q-sample. Although literature exists on methodological processes to conduct Q-methodological studies, limited guidance exists on the practical steps to reduce the population of statements to a Q-sample. A case exemplar illustrates the steps to construct a Q-sample in preparation for a study that explored perspectives nurse educators and nursing students hold about simulation design. Experts in simulation and Q-methodology evaluated the Q-sample for readability, clarity, and for representativeness of opinions contained within the concourse. The Q-sample was piloted and feedback resulted in statement refinement. Researchers especially those undertaking Q-method studies for the first time may benefit from the practical considerations to construct a Q-sample offered in this article.

Keywords: Q-methodology; Q-sample construction; simulation-based learning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Nursing Research / methods*
  • Research Design / standards*