OBJECTIVE: To assess the satisfaction of outpatients treated for cancer and their spouses as regards to medical and psychosocial care. A second focus of interest included the understanding the extend of support needs not yet covered by the existing system. METHOD: 224 outpatients with different cancer types and different stages as well and their 224 spouses were assessed by questionnaires. RESULTS: The needs of the patients were significantly better covered in all areas investigated than those of their spouses. A high level of satisfaction was revealed in the aspect of understanding and confidence with doctors and other medical stuff as well as the information on the disease. Also regarding on the various ways of treatment and how a patient could keep his own mental balance were considered satisfactory. By patients, spouses and doctors were considered by far as the most important support. A significant number of patients and spouses reported a lack of assistance or advice in relevant social support aspects. CONCLUSION: The wishes and needs of the spouses are considerably less taken into account within the exististing outpatient oncological medical treatment than those of the patients. As the spouses are heavily impacted by a psychological stress due their partners disease and the support duties, we require to ameliorate the assessment of the needs of relatives and to communicate better existing support programmes.