An investigation into the acceptability of Dementia Care Mapping on a neurorehabilitation ward: Q-methodology with staff and clinical populations.

  • Jenna Stevens

Student thesis: Doctor of Clinical Psychology


Background. Paper I: Published guidelines and policies continually promote the importance of increasing service-user involvement in health care services. Q-methodology has become a popular method for revealing the subjective perspectives of patients who use health services, yet there is currently no review considering the potential issues of using Q-methodology with clinical populations. Paper II: Measuring the quality of care for people using neurorehabilitation services is a complex area requiring reliable methods. Dementia Care Mapping (DCM) is used widely in dementia care settings to help improve person-centred care and with appropriate evaluation may be usefully applied to neurorehabilitation settings.Aims. Paper I [literature review] examined studies which used Q-methodology with clinical populations, with a particular emphasis on the potential adaptations required to ensure its reliable use. Paper II [research study] explored the acceptability views of staff and patients for the pilot use of DCM in a neurorehabilitation setting. Paper III attempted to critically appraise these papers, as well as the research process overall.Methods. Paper I reviewed 29 studies, published over a 20-year period, using a narrative synthesis. Paper II conducted DCM on an acute neurorehabilitation ward, and evaluated the acceptability of DCM using Q-methodology with 23 staff and 10 patients on the ward.Results. Paper I identified a number of considerations for the effective application of Q-methodology with clinical populations. Paper II, reporting on the factor analysis, indicated a 'consensus' viewpoint, where all participants indicated positive acceptability for the use of DCM in a neurorehabilitation setting, with additional factors indicating some potential changes to the tool for increasing acceptability in the future. Paper II also indicated the potential for Q-methodology to be useful with a neurorehabilitation in-patient population.Conclusion. Paper I indicated the potential worth of Q-methodology for use with clinical populations. It also indicated guidelines which researchers might consider when using this method with clinical populations in the future. Paper II revealed promising results for the acceptability of DCM in a neurorehabilitation setting, though further research is required to explore this further. It also confirmed the value of Q-methodology with patients within a neurorehabilitation setting, similarly to those in Paper I. Paper III explored the relevance of Papers I and II in adding to the literature independently, but also the unequivocal link regarding the use of Q-methodology with clinical populations.
Date of Award31 Dec 2011
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorRachel Calam (Supervisor) & Dougal Hare (Supervisor)


  • Dementia Care Mapping
  • Q-methodology
  • Critical review
  • Neurorehabilitation
  • Patients
  • Acceptability

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