A range of measures have been proposed to enhance the provision of information to cancer patients and randomized controlled trials have demonstrated their impact on patient satisfaction and recall. The current study explored the practice and views of oncologists, surgeons and general practitioners (GPs) with regards to providing patients with consultation audiotapes and summary letters. In stage 1, 28 semi-structured interviews with doctors were conducted to provide qualitative data on which to base a questionnaire. In stage 2, 113 medical oncologists, 43 radiation oncologists, 55 surgeons and 108 GPs completed questionnaires. Only one-third of doctors had ever provided patients with a copy of the letter written to the oncologist or referring doctor, and one-quarter had provided a summary letter or tape. The majority of doctors were opposed to such measures; however, a substantial minority were in favour of providing a letter or tape under certain conditions. More surgeons and GPs (> two-thirds) were opposed to specialists providing a consultation audiotape than oncologists (one-third). Gender, years of experience and attitude to patient involvement in decision-making were predictive of doctors' attitudes. The majority of doctors remain opposed to offering patients personalized information aids. However, practice and perspectives appear to be changing.