Feasibility analysis of the value of Q method in the classification and understanding of expert experience

Meng Yu Liu, Yong Li, Aiping LYU*, Xue Jie Han

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The Q method, combining qualitative and quantitative methods, refers to the qualitative analysis of Q-sorts based on quantitative techniques. It is used to research individual subjective experience, analyzing consensus and divergence to identify and categorize subjects' viewpoints. The sorting process is completely performed by the subjects, independent of study researchers. The Q method in medical research has been applied in many fields, including nursing care, clinical studies, doctor and patient's perceptions, health evaluation and decision making. The authors used the Q method to research Chinese medicine (CM) group decision making, exploring its practical feasibility in this important field. Four primary domains are addressed: (1) integration of expert opinion; (2) expert classification; (3) ascertaining the entire viewpoint orientation of a certain type of expert; and (4) comparison of expert opinion using an additional perspective. The essence of the Q method caters to the CM thinking model and should be introduced into CM and explored more deeply.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)869-873
Number of pages5
JournalChinese Journal of Integrative Medicine
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Pharmacology (medical)

User-Defined Keywords

  • expert experience
  • famous veteran doctors of Chinese medicine
  • Q method


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