In this study, the relationship between (a) doctor's and patients' communication and (b) doctors' patient-centredness during the oncological consultation and patients' quality of life and satisfaction was examined. Consultations of 96 consecutive cancer patients were recorded and content analysed by means of the Roter Interaction Analysis System. Data collection (mailed questionnaires) took place after 1 week and after 3 months. Oncologists' behaviours were unrelated to patients' quality of life. Their socio-emotional behaviours related to both patients' visit-specific and global satisfaction. Patients' behaviour related to both patient outcomes although mostly to satisfaction. Multiple regression analyses showed that patients' quality of life and satisfaction were most clearly predicted by the affective quality of the consultation. Surprisingly, oncologists' patient-centredness was negatively related to patients' global satisfaction after 3 months. In summary, doctor-patient communication during the oncological consultation is related to patients' quality of life and satisfaction. The affective quality of the consultation seems to be the most important factor in determining these outcomes.