Background Cancer diseases and their therapies have negative effects on the quality of life. The aim of this study is to assess the effectiveness of case management in a sample of oncological outpatients with the intent of rehabilitation after cancer treatment. Case management wants to support the complex information needs of the patients in addition to the segmented structure of the health care system. Emphasis is put on support for self-management in order to enhance health - conscious behaviour, learning to deal with the burden of the illness and providing the opportunity for regular contacts with care providers. We present a study protocol to investigate the efficacy of a case management in patients following oncology rehabilitation after cancer treatment. Methods The trial is a multicentre, two-arm randomised controlled study. Patients are randomised parallel in either 'usual care' plus case management or 'usual care' alone. Patients with all types of cancer can be included in the study, if they have completed the therapy with chemo- and/or radiotherapy/surgery with curative intention and are expected to have a survival time >1 year. To determine the health-related quality of life the general questionnaire FACT G is used. The direct correlation between self-management and perceived self-efficacy is measured with the Jerusalem & Schwarzer questionnaire. Patients satisfaction with the care received is measured using the Patient Assessment of Chronic Illness Care 5 As (PACIC-5A). Data are collected at the beginning of the trial and after 3, 6 and 12 months. The power analysis revealed a sample size of 102 patients. The recruitment of the centres began in 2009. The inclusion of patients began in May 2010. Discussion Case management has proved to be effective regarding quality of life of patients with chronic diseases. When it comes to oncology, case management is mainly used in cancer treatment, but it is not yet common in the rehabilitation of cancer patients. Case management in oncology rehabilitation is not well-established in Switzerland. A major challenge of the study will therefore probably be the recruitment of the patients due to the physicians' and patients' scarcely existing awareness of this issue.