To understand the function of telephone nursing, every call to the Medical Call Centre in Stockholm was recorded during one week (n = 2866). Every tenth caller (n = 203) was asked to answer a mailed questionnaire about consultation and satisfaction. The most common reason for calling was symptoms of infection. The predominant outcome was self-care advice (49%). In the mailed questionnaire 85% of respondents stated that they had followed the advice and 95% were satisfied with their consultation. Compared to earlier studies of calls to health-care centres and accident and emergency departments, a larger proportion of the callers were advised to see a physician. The Call Centre we examined proved to be more inclined to give self-care advice than other health-care settings.