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01-03-2013 | Brief Communication | Uitgave 2/2013 Open Access

Quality of Life Research 2/2013

Translation and validation of the Dutch version of the Effective Consumer Scale (EC-17)

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 2/2013
Peter M. ten Klooster, Erik Taal, Liseth Siemons, Johanna C. M. Oostveen, Etelka J. Harmsen, Peter S. Tugwell, Tamara Rader, Anne Lyddiatt, Mart A. F. J. van de Laar



The Effective Consumer Scale (EC-17) measures the skills of musculoskeletal patients in managing their own healthcare. The objectives of this study were to translate the EC-17 into Dutch and to further evaluate its psychometric properties.


The EC-17 was translated and cognitively pretested following cross-cultural adaptation guidelines. Two hundred and thirty-eight outpatients (52 % response rate) with osteoarthritis or fibromyalgia completed the EC-17 along with other validated measures. Three weeks later, 101 patients completed the EC-17 again.


Confirmatory factor analysis supported the unidimensional structure of the scale. The items adequately fit the Rasch model and only one item demonstrated differential item functioning. Person reliability was high (0.92), but item difficulty levels tended to cluster around the middle of the scale, and measurement precision was highest for moderate and lower levels of skills. The scale demonstrated adequate test–retest reliability (ICC = 0.71), and correlations with other measures were largely as expected.


The results supported the validity and reliability of the Dutch version of the EC-17, but suggest that the scale is best targeted at patients with relatively low levels of skills. Future studies should further examine its sensitivity to change in a clinical trial specifically aimed at improving effective consumer skills.

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