Health beliefs and their sources in Korean and Japanese nurses: A Q-methodology pilot study

Teresa E. Stone, Sook Jung Kang, Chiyoung Cha, Sue Turale, Kyoko Murakami, Akihiko Shimizu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: Many health beliefs do not have supporting scientific evidence, and are influenced by culture, gender, religion, social circumstance and popular media. Nurses may also hold non-evidenced-based beliefs that affect their own health behaviours and their practices. Objectives: Using Q-methodology, pilot Q-cards representing a concourse of health beliefs for Japanese and South Korean nurses and explain the content and sources of health beliefs. Design: Qualitative. Settings: Two university campuses, one each in Japan and Korea. Participants: A convenience sample of 30 was obtained, 14 clinical nurses and 16 academic nurses. Methods: Literature reviews and expert informants were used to develop two sets of 65 Q-cards which listed culturally appropriate health beliefs in both Japan and Korea. These beliefs were examined in four structured groups and five individual interviews in Japan, and five groups and two individual interviews in Korea. Results: Our unique study revealed six categories regarding sources of health beliefs that provide rich insights about how participants accessed, processed and transmitted health information. They were more certain about knowledge from their specialty area such as that from medical or nursing resources, but derived and distributed many general health beliefs from personal experience, family and mass media. They did not always pass on accurate information to students or those in their care, and often beliefs were not based on scientific evidence. Conclusion: Findings highlight the dangers of clinical and academic nurses relying on health belief advice of others and passing this on to patients, students or others, without mindfully examining the basis of their beliefs through scientific evidence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-220
Number of pages7
JournalNurse Education Today
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by JSPS KAKANHI Grant Number 26463210 . We thank all the participants.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Culture
  • Evidence-based beliefs
  • Health beliefs
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Nurse education
  • Nurses
  • Q-methodology


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