Aims: this study was conducted to describe and compare nurses' and inpatients' perceptions of caring attitudes and behaviours in rehabilitation. Methods : a comparative descriptive design was used. Perceptions of caring attitudes and behaviours were compared between 34 nurses working in rehabilitation and 64 elderly patients, using the Caring Nurse Patient Inventory‐23, to explore Watson's carative factors through four dimensions. Patients' and nurses' ratings of importance for each dimension were compared. The study data were collected from 8 November 2017 to 5 May 2018. Results: patients' and nurses' responses showed high scores in terms of their perceptions of caring, with nurses having the higher scores, and significant differences were found between patients and nurses. Patients scored items linked to clinical aspects of caring as the most important, whereas nurses scored items linked to humanistic and clinical caring as equally important. Comfort care was considered important for nurses and patients. Both groups considered relational caring items as the least important. Conclusion: results show that patients and nurses value clinical aspects of care, which is the visible aspect of care. The Caring Nurse Patient Inventory‐23 is a reliable instrument to measure the nurses' and patients' perception of caring behaviours in rehabilitation.