Quality of Care

Program directors: Prof. Sophia Kramer and Dr Martine C. de Bruijne

Program secretary: Yvette de Jonge


The research program Quality of Care (QofC) aims to improve the quality of prevention programs and healthcare services, empowering people to make informed health decisions, to prevent or delay the onset of chronic disease and disablement, to improve the quality of life of disabled patients, and of patients in their terminal phase.

Specific research themes

  1. Health, communication and decision-making. Research concentrates on improving the quality of information about e.g. health risks and treatments, and improving the communication between patients and doctors in order to enable patients to have the role in the decision making process regarding their treatment.
  2. Disease, disability and participation. Research focuses on personal factors and environmental factors that might hinder or help maintaining functional autonomy, participation and quality of life of people with chronic illness or a disability.
  3. Effectiveness and safety of care. Describing and monitoring the quality and safety of both prevention and care is the focus of this theme. Important topics are the development and subsequent testing of specific quality indicators as well as the effectiveness of interventions to improve collaboration between professionals or organization of care in order to optimize quality and safety of care.

Rationale and focus

A long healthy life requires not only disease specific prevention and care, but also attention for more generic themes such effective health communication, patient perspectives in prevention and care, and patient safety issues. In this program research focuses on the organization of care, such as regulations for end-of-life care, on health professionals, such as educational programs in genetics, and on individual health care consumers, such as improving quality of life of chronically ill. Research within this program focuses on all stages in life: genetic predisposition to disease, development of risk factors, onset of disease, early manifestation, progression, rehabilitation and the end of life. Medical, psychological, psychosocial, ethical as well as judicial perspectives are explicitly taken into account.

Future perspectives

In order to make the program more coherent and to make the best use of the multi-disciplinary expertise in the program, different actions are undertaken to encourage active and concrete collaborations between researchers from different departments within and across the four research themes. Further priorities in this program’s policy plan are to strengthen international cooperative projects, and to further develop and strengthen and apply the expertise on mixed methods research in health care research.

[last modified July 23, 2015]