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Patient recruitment for a clinical study in neurology (spondylolisthesis)

Spondylolisthesis is the translational displacement or non-anatomic alignment of one vertebra relative to the adjacent vertebra. Doctors commonly describe spondylolisthesis as either low grade or high grade, depending upon the amount of slippage. A high-grade slip occurs when more than 50 percent of the width of the fractured vertebra slips forward on the vertebra below it. Patients with high-grade slips are more likely to experience significant pain and nerve injury and to need surgery to relieve their symptoms.


The study had very specific inclusion criteria. Several sites were up and running for 6 months when the sponsor of this study brought Pivotal Patient Journey in for assistance.


Pivotal Patient Journey was asked to boost recruitment and pre-qualify candidates with degenerative spondylolisthesis.

Our approach

Pivotal Patient Journey launched a digital recruitment strategy for 5 months involving:

  • Digital advertisements through facebook and google
  • Banners on selected health related websites
  • Dedicated newsletters to targeted population

Of the 200 candidates who registered online, about 50% passed the online pre-qualification step and were referred to the sites.

Recruitment strategy

The video shows examples of the awareness campaign, the study webpage and the online application form. 



million impressions

50 000

website visitors


online registrations


referred patients

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