• This article discusses issues relating to information arising from a qualitative study of the experiences of informal carers of terminally ill cancer patients.
• Qualitative data analysis, drawing on methods of literary criticism, revealed that information was a key area in carers' experience.
• The findings are presented in the context of needing to provide individualized care to every family and deal with information needs relating to the illness and prognosis.
• The question of who is in possession of what information is raised, and the effect that this can have on couples is discussed, together with the issue of false information which carers may receive.
• The discussion centres on the complexity of understanding carers' information needs and considers how these are affected by the context within which carers operate.
• The work of Glaser and Strauss on awareness contexts is discussed in this respect.
• Finally, the importance of the nurse's role as a sensitive mediator of information is considered.