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Centre for Global Health
43 Bruyère St, Annex E, room 312
Ottawa, Ontario
K1N 5C8
Tel.: 1-613-562-6262 ext.2909
Fax: 1-613-569-6734

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Effective Consumers Scale EC-17

Meeting Argentina

Over the past six years, we have developed a scale to measure “how effective people are at dealing with their chronic condition and making decisions about their health care”. The Effective Consumer Scale (EC-17) consists of 17 items measuring the main skills and behaviours people need to effectively manage their health care.


Following a literature review, semi-structured interviews were conducted with people with arthritis diseases and their networks (e.g. family, health care providers, etc.) to identify a set of skills and behaviours that people need to manage their health effectively. These interviews were supplemented by consultations with key stakeholders, including patient and professional organisations and research experts. After a pilot project of people with arthritis diseases to assess the psychometric properties of the preliminary scale, the scale was reduced from 48 to 17 items using classical and item response theory. The unidimensional scale now comprises five domains: 1) use of health information; 2) clarifying personal priorities; 3) communicating with others; 4) negotiating roles and taking control; and 5) deciding and taking action.


At this point, we are very excited to be validating the Effective Consumer Scale in a number of countries. Groups in Argentina, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, and Romania are also validating the scale (in other languages) and gathering baseline data.

***Seeking your input***

We are also interested in identifying an RCT in which we could use the scale. If you are planning a trial, please contact Tamara Rader (trader [at]


Effective Consumer 17 Scale

  • Dutch (the psychometric properties of the Dutch version of the scale are currently being analyzed)
  • English
  • Español

Published Articles

  • Santesso N, Rader T, Wells GA, O'Connor AM, Brooks PM, Driedger M, Gallois C, Kristjansson E, Lyddiatt A, O'Leary G, Prince M, Stacey D, Wale J, Welch V, Wilson AJ, Tugwell PS. Responsiveness of the Effective Consumer Scale (EC-17). J Rheumatol. 2009 Sep;36(9):2087-91. PubMed PMID: 19738218.
  • Kristjansson E. Tugwell PS. Wilson AJ. Brooks PM. Driedger SM. Gallois C. O'Connor AM. Qualman A. Santesso N. Wale J. Wells GA. Development of the effective musculoskeletal consumer scale. [9 refs] Journal of Rheumatology. 34(6):1392-400, 2007 Jun.
  • Driedger SM. Gallois C. Sanders CB. Santesso N. Finding common ground in team-based qualitative research using the convergent interviewing method. Qualitative Health Research. 16(8):1145-57, 2006 Oct.
  • Tugwell PS. Wilson AJ. Brooks PM. Driedger SM. Gallois C. O'Connor AM. Qualman A. Santesso N. Wale J. Wells GA. Attributes and skills of an effective musculoskeletal consumer. Journal of Rheumatology. 32(11):2257-61, 2005 Nov.


  • OMERACT 9 Effective Consumer Update (PDF)
  • OMERACT 7 Effective Consumer Update (PDF)
  • What is an Effective Consumer? 2005 (PDF)


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Last updated: 2021.06.03