i. To identify and describe societal perspectives on the (relative) value of end of life technologies by eliciting the views of both members of the public and experts in relevant fields, using Q methodology;

ii. To develop methods to investigate the distribution of those views, including their association with other characteristics in a nationally representative sample of the UK general public.

Phase 1

Analysis of the first phase of work is complete and we have identified three different societal perspectives, published open access in BMC Medical Ethics.

Phase 2

The main purpose of Phase 2 of the project is to generate new knowledge with respect to the merits and weakness of different approaches to Q survey design. The objective of Q surveys Q2S is to approximate, in short form, the likely Q factor association/ membership of a large (representative) population sample.  We devised 5 Q2S approaches and explore three central questions:-

  1. Which Q2S methods best approximate factor loadings when compared to a full Q sort with the same participants?
  2. What are the strengths and limitations of the 5 Q2S approaches in terms of respondent acceptability, convergent validity and repeatability.
  3. What are the strengths and limitations of the 5 Q2S approaches (flexibility/ richness afforded by different approaches) with respect to data analysis?

We also explore relationships between Q factor association, hypothetical policy choice questions and other socio-demographic and attitudinal variables.  Phase 2 analysis is underway.