Inflammatory bowel disease (ibd) is a chronic disorder with an early onset in life. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that ibd patients are in considerable need of health care. The quality of life of ibd patients is reported to be impaired. Whether optimizing the quality of health care for these patients may positively influence their quality of life is a question that has been raised often during recent years. This review of the literature on health care research discusses different concepts regarding the quality of care assessment in chronic disease, stresses the need to see things from the patient’s perspective, and provides recommendations to optimize health care research. The two most important conclusions that can be drawn are that: (1) the relationship between quality of health care and quality of life in ibd is one that is certainly worth studying; and (2) when developing a means to assess patient data on quality of care, it is essential to involve patients from the very start.