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Patient Recruitment for a clinical study in gastroenterology (Crohn's disease)

A top 3 pharma company needed to recruit Crohn’s disease patients. Because of the very competitive clinical trial landscape in Crohn’s disease the recruitment of the study was going much slower than forecasted.

As Pivotal already performed several recruitment projects for this pharma company we were contacted again to step in and boost the patient recruitment for this study in Belgium. The aim was to get as much referrals as possible in a 2-weeks recruitment period.

Our strategy

Pivotal’s team developed a comprehensive direct-to-patient digital recruitment strategy.

A 2-step online and telephone prescreening qualification strategy was implemented to recruit the patients based on selected inclusion and exclusion criteria.

  1. An online awareness campaign with targeted advertising based on geo location, age, gender, and interests was launched.  
  2. By clicking on an advertisement people were redirected to the study specific webpage.
  3. The webpage included a smart online pre-screener where people could apply to participate to the study.
  4. After positive online pre-screening the candidates were called by phone to perform the further prequalification of the candidate
  5. As a last step the contact details of the pre-screened candidates were shared with the participating study sites.

Thanks to the prompt follow-up of Pivotal’s team and the study sites, all referred candidates were contacted by the study team and invited for an onsite visit within 2 weeks after date of referral.

Study webpage

Just placing some random advertisements on social media is not sufficient to be able to implement an effective recruitment strategy. Even if your ad campaign is having a lot of clicks, people do not receive enough information about the study by reading an advertisement. The study specific website however provides all the information for people to make an informed decision about participating to a study. People need to be informed about:

  • the goal of the study
  • why are people being recruited for the study
  • who is eligible
  • what is expected from study participants
  • what are the possible benefits/risks...

Pivotal's team created a comprehensive website with pre-screener for this study. Which resulted in 15 submissions in a time frame of 2 weeks recruitment period.

Patient journey

  1. A potential study candidate from the targeted study population notices a Facebook newsfeed about the Crohn's disease study whilst browsing the internet.
  2. Once the potential candidate clicks the link, the candidate is directed to a webpage published on the C-Lys platform for the Crohn's disease study.
  3. The candidate can access the more detailed information about this study.
  4. The candidate can register by completing and submitting an online form.



ad impressions


website visitors




wks campaign

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