Personal information

Riekie de Vet

Riekie de Vet   

Contact details
Henrica CW de Vet
Professor in Clinimetrics, 
VU University Medical Center, EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research 
Boelelaan 1089A 
1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
tel: +31 20 444 8176 

Short biography
Henrica C.W. de Vet studied Human Nutrition at the Agricultural University in Wageningen, the Netherlands and specialised in epidemiology. She worked in the Department of Epidemiology at Maastricht University, from 1981 till 1999. She received her PhD in 1990. During this period she focused on clinical epidemiology and research methods and started research in evidence based medicine in the field of musculoskeletal disorders. In 1999 she was appointed as coordinator of the research programme “Musculoskeletal Disorders” of the EMGO Institute of VU University Medical Center where she continued her work on the effectiveness of treatments for musculoskeletal disorders. She broadened her scope to the diagnostic and prognostic field and increasingly focused on the quality of outcome measurements, resulting in a professorship in clinimetrics. She was Chairman of the Dutch Society of Epidemiology, and Associate Editor of Quality of Life research. She is member of the Board of  Directors of the International Society for Quality of Life and member of the Dutch Health Council.

Research activities in Clinimetrics
The main focus with regard to clinimetric issues is on the evaluation of existing measurement instruments with regard to reliability, responsiveness and assessment of minimal important changes. A working group on Clinimetrics has been established with colleagues interested in this field. This has resulted in masterclasses on clinimetrics and a number of highly cited educational papers in the international literature.  

Most important papers Clinimetrics 

  1. Terwee CB, Mokkink LB, Knol DL, Ostelo RW, Bouter LM, de Vet HC. Rating the methodological quality in systematic reviews of studies on measurement properties: a scoring system for the COSMIN checklist. Qual Life Res 2012; 21: 651-7.
  2. Mokkink LB, Terwee CB, Patrick DL, Alonso J, Stratford PW, Knol DL et al. The COSMIN study reached international consensus on taxonomy, terminology, and definitioins of measurement properties for health-related patient-reported outcomes. J Clin Epidemiol 2010; 63: 737-45.
  3. Terwee CB, Bot S, de Boer MR, van der Windt DAWM, Knol DL, ,Dekker J, Bouter LM, De Vet HCW. Quality criteria were proposed for measurement properties of health status questionnaires. J Clin Epidemiol. 2007;60:34-42.
  4. de Vet HC, Terwee CB, Knol DL, Bouter LM. When to use agreement versus reliability measures. J Clin Epidemiol 2006; 59(10):1033-9.
  5. De Vet HC, Terwee CB, Bouter LM. Current challenges in clinimetrics. J Clin Epidemiol 2003; 56: 1137-1141.

Research on 'evidence based medicine' in Musculoskeletal disorders
A large number of RCTs on low back pain, neck pain and other musculoskeletal disorders have been designed and supervised. Systematic reviews have been performed about effectiveness of therapies, on the value of diagnostic tests, and clinimetrics reviews. Research has focused on the treatment of chronic pain.

Most important papers on Musculoskeletal disorders

  1. Apeldoorn AT, Ostelo RW, van Helvoirt H, Fritz JM, Knol DL, van Tulder MW et al. A randomized controlled trial on the effectiveness of a classification-based system for sub-acute and chronic low back pain. Spine 2012; 37: 1347-56.
  2. Gerritsen AA, de Vet HC, Scholten RJ, Bertelsmann FW, de Krom MC, Bouter LM. Splinting vs surgery in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA 2002; 288(10):1245-1251.
  3. Hoving JL, Koes BW, de Vet HC, van der Windt DA, Assendelft WJ, van Mameren H, Devillé WL, Pool JJ, Scholten RJ, Bouter LM.  Manual therapy, physical therapy, or continued care by a general practitioner for patients with neck pain. A randomized, controlled trial. Ann Intern Med 2002; 136(10):713-22.
  4. Kemler MA, Barendse GA, Van Kleef M, de Vet HC, Rijks CP, Furnee CA et al. Spinal cord stimulation in patients with chronic reflex sympathetic dystrophy. N Engl J Med 2000; 343(9):618-624.
  5. Beurskens AJ, de Vet HC, Koke AJ, Lindeman E, Regtop W, van der Heijden GJ et al. Efficacy of traction for non-specific low back pain: a randomised clinical trial. Lancet 1995; 346(8990):1596-1600.

Most important systematic reviews

  1. Van der Pas MH, Meijer S, Hoekstra OS, Riphagen II, de Vet HC, Knol DL, van Grieken NC, Meijerink WJ. Sentinel-lymph-node procedure in colon and rectal cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Oncol 2011; 12: 540-50.
  2. Jellema P, van der Windt DA, Bruinvels DJ, Mallen CD, van Weyenberg SJ, Mulder CJ, de Vet HC. Value of symptoms and additional diagnostic tests for colorectal cancer in primary care: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ 2010; 340: c1269. doi: 10.1136/bmj.c1269.
  3. Ostelo RW, Costa LO, Maher CG, de Vet HC, van Tulder MW. Rehabilitation after lumbar disc surgery: an update Cochrane review. Spine 2009; 34: 1839-48.
  4. Staal JB, de Bie RA, de Vet HC, Hildebrandt J, Nelemans P. de Vet HCW. Injection therapy for subacute and chronic low back pain: an updated Cochrane review. Spine 2009; 34: 49-59.
  5. Verhagen A, Bierma-Zeinstra S, Lambeck J, Cardoso JR, de Bie R, Boers M, de Vet HC. Balneotherapy for osteoarthritis. A Cochrane review. J Rheumatol 2008; 35: 1118-23.

Educational activities 

  • Post graduate course in Clinimetrics
  • Post graudate course Systematic Reviews
  • 3rd year medical students: elective education on Movement
  • Honour classes in Critical appraisal of the biomedical literature
  • Research Master Institute of Health Sciences, Course in Clinimetrics

International collaboration

For research on Clinimetrics

  • Steering committee of the COSMIN study (Consensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement Instruments).

For research on Musculoskeletal disorders:

  • Department of Primary Care Sciences, University of Keele (UK)
  • Institute for Work and Health, Toronto (Canada)

For research on systematic reviews: several roles within the Cochrane Collaboration:

  • Member of the Cochrane Methods Group on meta-analysis of diagnostic and screening tests,  and the Methods Group of Patient  Reported Outcomes
  • Convenor of the Methods Group of Prognosis studies
  • Member of the Cochrane Musculoskeletal Group and Cochrane Back Review group
  • Steering Committee of STARD initiative (STAndards for Reporting of studies on Diagnostic Accuracy).