Radboud University Medical Center

Department of Geriatric Medicine


TOPICS-MDS is a collation of validated instruments measuring physiological, psychological and social health and wellbeing of older persons and informal caregivers across the Netherlands. More background information on the development of the survey instrument can be found in the following paper:


Lutomski JE, Baars MAE, Schalk BWM, Boter H, Buurman BM, den Elzen WPJ, Jansen APD, Kempen GIJM, Steunenberg B, Steyerberg EW, Olde Rikkert MGM, Melis RJF. The development of The Older Persons and Informal Caregivers Survey Minimum DataSet (TOPICS-MDS): A large-scale data sharing initiative. PLoS ONE. 2013 Dec 4;8(12):e81673. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0081673


An overview paper of TOPICS-MDS was published in June 2019:

Melis R.J.F., van Hout H.P.J., Metzelthin S.F. (2019). The Older Persons and Informal Caregivers Survey Minimum Dataset (TOPICS-MDS). In: Gu D., Dupre M. (eds) Encyclopedia of Gerontology and Population Aging. Springer, Cham. doi: 1007/978-3-319-69892-2



Changes in the TOPICS-MDS survey instrument

In 2017 the TOPICS-MDS has been optimized in an expert group (chair: Dr. Silke Metzelthin). For a detailed description of the changes made in the MDS, see (in Dutch): TOPICS-MDS 2017-aanpassingen.


In 2019 the TOPICS-MDS for the caregiver was further revised and updated in an expert group (chair: Dr. Silke Metzelthin).



Use of TOPICS-MDS questionnaires in ZonMw Nationaal Programma Ouderenzorg and Memorabel 

The initial TOPICS-MDS questionnaires were used in the ZonMw programmes Nationaal Programma Ouderenzorg (NPO) (2008-2016) and Memorabel round 1 to 4 (2014-2019). TOPICS-MDS data collected in those programmmes can be requested for reuse.


The MDS 2017 is currently being used in the ZonMw programme Memorabel round 5 (2017-2021).