Back to patient recruitment cases

Patient recruitment for a clinical study in gastroenterology (reflux)

For a clinical study at a university hospital, investigators were trying to recruit adults with the common medical condition; ‘moderate gastro-esophageal reflux disease’. This study population is typically not treated within a hospital setting, but at private practices by general practitioners (GPs). This imposed a recruitment challenge for the study site. In addition, the study burden for participants was relatively high due to several medical screenings.

Pivotal was contracted to inform, recruit, and prescreen patients from outside the hospital.

Keys to success

  • The team developed a comprehensive direct-to-patient digital recruitment strategy.
  • This included an online awareness campaign with targeted advertising based on geo location, age, gender, and interests. We ran online advertisements seeking patients with common symptoms such as heartburn and nausea.
  • When clicking an ad people were redirected to a webpage for comprehensive information about the study. The webpage also included a smart online pre-screener and application form.
  • Study sites are the most important part when it comes to successfully screening and enrolling participants. Our team developed a close working relationship and trust with the site staff. The efficient collaborative way of working allowed a swift follow up of referred patients by the site staff. The pace of the recruitment campaign by Pivotal was matched with the expectations of the site.

C-Lys platform

Webpage on C-Lys platform. This webpage included:

  • comprehensive information about the study
  • a smart online pre-screener to assess the eligibility
  • the possibility to submit an application form

Our C-Lys patient platform is a validated, multilingual platform to facilitate patient recruitment and follow up.

Patient journey

  1. A potential study candidate from the targeted study population notices a Facebook newsfeed about the 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.
  3. The candidate can access the more detailed information about the study.
  4. The candidate is able to register by completing and submitting an online form.  



enrolled via Pivotal


website visits


form submissions


referred to site

Other Patient recruitment cases