Q Methodology

Q Methodology is a research method used in psychology and in social sciences to study people’s “subjectivity”—that is, their viewpoint” (Wikipedia, 2019).

“Q-methodology is one approach that can be used to help policy makers and researchers actively engage with those who are important in policy implementation, and anticipate their responses. Q-methodology combines qualitative and quantitative research methods to systematically explore and describe the range of viewpoints about a topic” (Alderson, Bryant, Ahmed & House, 2018) .


This is a 3 stage process (Valenta & Wigger, 1997):

  • Stage one involves developing a set of statements to be sorted;
  • Stage two requires participants to sort the statements along a continuum of preference;
  • Stage three the data are analyzed and interpreted


“Q-methodology research emphasizes the qualitative how and why people think the way they do; the methodology does not count how many people think a certain way. The goal of Q-methodology is, first and foremost, to uncover different patterns of thought (not their numerical distribution among the larger population” ( Valenta & Wigger, 1997).

Q-method.org: For more information on Q-methodology

Healthcare Resources

Alderson, S., Foy, R., Bryant, L., Ahmed, S., & House, A. (2018). Using Q-methodology to guide the implementation of new healthcare policiesBMJ Qual Saf27(9), 737-742.

Valenta, A. L., & Wigger, U. (1997). Q-methodology: Definition and application in health care informatics. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association4(6), 501-510.

Check-In Check-Out Process

Journal Club Article: Henderson, A., Harrison, P., Rowe, J., Edwards, S., Barnes, M., & Henderson, S. (2018). Students take the lead for learning in practice: A process for building self-efficacy into undergraduate nursing education. Nurse Education in Practice31, 14-19 [abstract].

Aim: To prepare graduate nurses for practice, the curriculum and pedagogy need to facilitate student engagement, active learning and the development of self-efficacy. Prepare nurses for the range of diverse health settings they will need to deliver care in the future.

Check-in and Check-out process: “aims to engage students as active partners in their learning and teaching in their clinical preparation for practice.”

Three interdependent elements make up the process:

  1. A check-in (briefing) part.
    • What will I be doing today?
    • What are my questions before starting?
    • What are my learning goals?
    • What am I learning about today?
  2. A clinical practice part, which supports students as they engage in their learning and practise clinical skills.
  3. A check-out (debriefing) part.

The Check-In, Check-Out approach to the clinical practical learning experience has been scaffolded for learning development and incorporates classrooms, practice laboratories, simulation clinical placements. Following the Check-In, Check-Out process here are then 4 self-efficacy statements:

  1. I can safely perform the clinical practice (What did I do?)
  2. I can identify positive examples of clinical practice role-modelling (What did I see?)
  3. I can identify feedback received that helped me achieve my learning objective/s (What was I told?)
  4. I have the confidence to initiate and independently perform the clinical practice (How do I feel?)

Then 2 take home self-reflective questions:

  1. Have I learnt what I need to know?
  2. If not, what do I still need to do?

Summary: “The foundation of the CICO process rests on a collaborative partnership between teachers and students. Its benefits are realised by enabling students as active participants and contributors to the fabric of the clinical learning space. Positive learning relationships develop when teaching staff support students in all aspects of their learning experience and students actively engage in the management of their learning.”

Terminology: The authors use the acronym CICO for their Check-In, Check-Out theory. For those of us in critical care settings this may relate more to terminology for the worrying ‘cant intubate, cant oxygenate’ situation.

Thanks to the amazing oracle of nursing education, Associate Professor Deb Massey for discussing this topic. Definitely a nurse academic and influencer to follow.

Nursing Education Network Presentations

Here is the playlist for all presentations to date. Remember its a work in progress so they will increase in number, and hopefully in quality and presenting skills over time. They are based around microlearning so are perfect for on the go learning. If you go to the original post for each recording, the presentation is also available as file version to download.

Research Software: JASP

Trying to conduct research statistics can be both a timely and costly experience. This post is investigating and trying the open source package of JASP by University of Amsterdam. There are many other packages, but I have started with a resource that appears to not require coding skills (so more to match my skills or limitations) and my budget (zero as always!). If you are aware of other software please add the details in the comments section and we can build this page with more resources. Note: No disclaimer or conflict of interest for this product, its not an advertisement, just a potentially exciting and helpful software program.

How to use JASP