Case managers in oncology. A literature review


  • Ludovica Schiavone Dipartimento di Giurisprudenza, Università degli Studi di Milano – Bicocca, Milano
  • Veronica Pegoraro Centro Governance and Social Innovation (GSI), Fondazione Ca’ Foscari, Venezia Dipartimento di Economia, Università Ca’ Foscari, Venezia
  • Francesca Dal Mas Dipartimento di Management, Università Ca’ Foscari, Venezia
  • Maristella Zantedeschi Centro Governance and Social Innovation (GSI), Fondazione Ca’ Foscari, Venezia Dipartimento di Economia, Università Ca’ Foscari, Venezia
  • Stefano Campostrini Centro Governance and Social Innovation (GSI), Fondazione Ca’ Foscari, Venezia Dipartimento di Economia, Università Ca’ Foscari, Venezia
  • Lorenzo Capobianchi Dipartimento di scienze clinico-chirurgiche, diagnostiche e pediatriche, Università degli Studi di Pavia, Pavia. Chirurgia Generale 1, IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo, Pavia ITIR – Institute for Transformative Innovation Research, Università degli Studi di Pavia, Pavia.
  • Gianpaolo Balzano Chirurgia del Pancreas, Pancreas Translational & Clinical Research Center, IRCCS San Raffaele, Milano


Case manager; oncology; disease units; organizational models; literature review


Objective: Modern healthcare systems are constantly looking for new organizational models to answer patients' needs. In the oncology field, the organizational model based on Disease Units is becoming established. These systems see the patient at the center and are based on multidisciplinary collaboration between healthcare professionals. In the context of the Disease Units, there should be a professional figure in the nursing field called a case manager, with the role of supporting coordination between the various professionals in charge and guiding the patient in the treatment process. The objective of the work is to understand in depth the context, characteristics, advantages, and barriers to the establishment of this figure.

Methodology: The article uses a structured review of international literature.

Results: The analysis of 19 articles denotes the need for the case manager to acquire both technical but above all, non-technical skills, such as kindness, humor, and empathy. Results highlight the strategic role of this figure in supporting the patient, especially in improving the quality of life, in adherence to treatment and in the management of the psychological and social sphere, thus strengthening the concept of a healthcare system that sees the patient in the center. Although there are obstacles to the formal establishment of this figure, regulatory changes should be carried out in the coming years to encourage the introduction of case managers within the Disease Units.

Originality: The article aims to analyze the characteristics of this professional figure in oncology, whose role is presumed to become increasingly strategic over time.


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How to Cite

Schiavone, L., Pegoraro, V., Dal Mas, F., Zantedeschi, M., Campostrini, S., Capobianchi, L., & Balzano, G. (2023). Case managers in oncology. A literature review. European Journal of Volunteering and Community-Based Projects, 1(4), 1-22. Retrieved from