Assessing patient experiences with rheumatoid arthritis care

With the CQ-index rheumatoid arthritis (RA) health care experiences of patients with rheumatoid arthritis can be assessed so that rheumatologist and other caregivers can improve their care. The CQ-index fits a world wide trend, as NIVEL researchers show in their publication in the Rheumatology International.

Patient-centeredness has become a central phenomenon in many healthcare systems worldwide. Transparency is an important requirement: hospitals must be informed about their patients’ experiences to be able to improve aspects of low satisfaction. Consequently, patient satisfaction measurement has become routine in many countries. In this context, it is innovative to measure patients’ experiences (in stead of their satisfaction) and to compare these experiences with the importance patients attach to quality aspects. The Consumer Quality-index (CQ-index) is a new Dutch instrument by which patients’ experiences and their priorities can be measured. In the Netherlands, the CQ-index has become the national standard to measure patient experiences.

Need for improvement
The CQ-index RA provides hospitals, rheumatologists and other caregivers with feedback for service improvement initiatives. The most important quality aspects according to patients concerned the alertness when prescribing medication. Providing patients with information on a special website of the hospital about RA was the highest quality improvement aspect.

The questionnaire
The NIVEL regularly updates the CQ-index surveys. Hospitals that want to use the survey can download the CQ-index Rheumatoid Arthritis from the website of the Centre for Consumer Experience in Healthcare. In addition to hospitals, other parties such as healthcare insurance companies and patient organisations can use the survey.

In the Netherlands, the following questionnaires are available (in Dutch):


  • CQI Health plan instrument ‘Experiences with Healthcare and Health Insurer’
  • CQI Cataract
  • CQI Hip Knee
  • CQI Diabetic
  • CQI Nursing Homes
  • CQI Care for the Handicapped
  • CQI Short Ambulatory Care for Mental health and addiction
  • CQI general practice
  • CQI Breast Care
  • CQI Youth Health Care: Child Health Centre Development


  • Marloes Zuidgeest, 070 272 97 00