Nurses can play a key role in patient education, including providing patients with useful and approrate information Rather than focusing on the process of education or information giving by nurses, this study places emphasis on the content of that information by taking the patients’perspective and asking the patients themselves what particular types of information are perceived as important at a specific point in time The aim of the study was to explore what particular types of information were important to women newly diagnosed with breast cancer, to enable nurses and other health care professionals to utilize their time as effectively as possible and provide a high-quality service to individuals in their care Women with breast cancer (a mean of 2 5 weeks from diagnosis) were interviewed and asked to compare items of information The items of information were presented m pairs and the women stated a preference for one item in that pan- Thirty-six pairs were presented in total The analysis involved the use of a Thurstone scaling model, which allowed rank ordermgs, or profiles of information needs, to be developed, reflecting the perceived importance of each item Information about the likelihood of cure, the spread of the disease and treatment options were perceived as the most important items of information at the tune of diagnosis Other information needs, in order of descending priority, included information about the risk to family, side-effects