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This preliminary study is part of an ongoing action research project Elderly patients (n=45) and their informal caregivers (n =147) completed a questionnaire The purpose of this study was to evaluate the quality of care from both the patients' and their informal caregivers’points of view and to compare differences in perceived quality of care between study and control wards in different hospitals Results indicated that the great majority of elderly patients were satisfied with the fulfilment of their needs Informal caregivers evaluated the quality of care more critically than did the patients Statistically significant differences were found between the control and the study wards in acute-care settings, however, differencesbetween the wards in long-term care settings were non-significant Nurses and researchers must better understand the needs of an increasing population of elderly patients Informal caregivers are in a key position to help nursing professionals to cope with the future challenges of elderly people's care Their perceptions must also be taken into account