Qualitative instruments involving clients as co-researchers to assess and improve the quality of care relationships in long-term care: an evaluation of instruments to enhance client participation in quality research

Aukelien Scheffelaar, Nanne Bos, Mattanja Triemstra, Marjan de Jong, Katrien Luijkx, Sandra van Dulmen

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticle


OBJECTIVES: Enhancing the active involvement of clients as co-researchers is seen as a promising innovation in quality research. The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility and usability of five qualitative instruments used by co-researchers for assessing the quality of care relationships in long-term care. DESIGN AND SETTING: A qualitative evaluation was performed in three care organisations each focused on one of the following three client groups: frail older adults, people with mental health problems and people with intellectual disabilities. A total of 140 respondents participated in this study. The data comprised observations by researchers and experiences from co-researchers, clients and professionals. RESULTS: Two instruments scored best on feasibility and usability and can therefore both be used by co-researchers to monitor the quality of care relationships from the client perspective in long-term care. CONCLUSIONS: The selected instruments let co-researchers interview other clients about their experiences with care relationships. The study findings are useful for long-term care organisations and client councils who are willing to give clients an active role in quality improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere033034
Pages (from-to)e033034
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes



  • care relationship
  • long-term care
  • participatory research
  • qualitative research
  • quality in health care

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