Three hundred and four new and return paediatric outpatient consultations were tape recorded. Questionnaires (and tapes) relating to the experience were returned from 286 families. They showed that tapes had been helpful to more than 99% of parents and grandparents. The main benefits were in refreshing the memories of those who attended the consultation and in helping the understanding of those unable to attend. More than 70% of tapes were listened to more than once and a third of families made a copy. Most parents considered that all consultations should be taped.