Health-related quality of life assessment can benefit several groups involved with health care. The aim of our study was to assess construct validity, reliability, discriminant ability and sensitivity to change of the Dutch translation of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire (IBDQ), a disease-specific quality-of-life questionnaire. A group of 120 IBD patients completed the IBDQ and two Visual Analogue Scales concerning general well-being and bowel function twice. Fifty-two patients also completed the Short-Form 36 twice. Disease activity was assessed once. Correlations between the IBDQ scores and the global assessments were reasonably high and the IBDQ was shown to be discriminative. High intraclass correlation coefficients between both measurements of the IBDQ were observed in patients who reported no change in bowel complaints. In contrast, significant differences were found between both moments in patients who reported change. The Dutch IBDQ proved to be valid, discriminative and reliable.