We studied physical, cognitive, emotional and quality-of-life changes noted by relatives in a sample of 65 severely traumatic brain-injured (TBI) patients several years after injury. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the families' perception of these changes and their need for information concerning the consequences of TBI. Our results indicated that the perceived changes in behavioural and affective symptoms and in the patient's quality of life were most closely associated with the need expressed by family members for information concerning TBI. We also found that family relationships were especially affected by problems in the behavioural and affective domain, and the decrease in patient quality of life, as reported by relatives. These findings underline the importance of providing the relatives of TBI patients with information about the consequences of the injury with particular emphasis on behavioural and emotional disturbances, in order that they might cope better with these problems.