This study evaluates whether a short training workshop in communication techniques is more effective than an information booklet for improving communication skills in informal carers of people suffering from dementia. 30 informal carers were allocated to the workshop sessions and 15 to the booklet. Outcome measures included awareness of communication strategies; perceived frequency of communication breakdown at home, and the associated level of distress; general stress; and consumer satisfaction. At six week follow-up, the workshop group demonstrated a significantly greater awareness of communication strategies then the booklet-only group. Both groups reported some reduction in the frequency of communication problems at home, and a reduction in the associated level of distress. Satisfaction with the workshop indicated that training was helpful but depended on the stage of illness of the partner.