Objective: Two studies to determine satisfaction regarding information, communication and support, and the degree of distress, anxiety and depression among patients and relatives. To compare the patients and relatives reports with the staff s expectations. To determine how the patient s degree of anxiety and depression correlated with the satisfaction. Design: Prospective studies.Setting: Patients from gastro surgical, gastro medical and observation wards and relatives from the intensive care unit at Ullevål University Hospital. Methods: A questionnaire was developed by the authors and used with small modifications for the three groups. All together it was 176 patients, 68 relatives and 95 staff members answering. The patients were also given the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and 119 returned a second questionnaire four weeks later. The degree of satisfaction was measured on a five-point scale (0-4).Main results: The average satisfaction score was 3,4+/-0,08 SE for relatives and 3,0 +/-0,04 for patients. The staff expected significantly lower degrees of satisfaction (2,9 +/-0,08 for relatives and 2,4 +/-0,05 for patients) (p<0,01). They also expected patients and relatives to experience more distress. The patients satisfaction was strongly correlated to their HAD score (p<0,01).Conclusions: The patients and relatives were satisfied to a rather high degree with the information, communication and support. The staff underestimated both patients and relatives satisfaction and overestimated their degree of distress. There is a correlation between patients satisfaction and their degree of anxiety and depression.