Patients with carcinoid tumours have reported a relatively good health-related quality of life (HRQoL) (European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire-C30, EORTC QLQ-C30), and low levels of anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, HADS). The aim was to test the validity of these results. Data were gathered through interviews with 19 patients and 19 staff. Participants were asked about disease and treatment related distress, important aspects of quality of life and strategies to ‘keep a good mood’. Patients were interviewed about themselves and staff were interviewed about a certain patient. Data were analysed by content analysis. Identified aspects of distress and quality of life were referred to an emotional, a physical and a social dimension. Most aspects of distress were of a physical character whereas most aspects of quality of life were of a social character. Several aspects of emotional distress not included in the EORTC QLQ-C30 and/or the HADS were identified.