The most challenging criterion was to find patients during their first schizophrenic episode whom didn't take a medication for more than 2 weeks. Existing sites databases were not relevant as they contained already treated patients. Furthermore, experiencing their first episode, patients haven't been aware of suffering from Schizophrenia and the first diagnosis needed to be done by the PIs at the site.
A thorough research was made to understand the actions that a potential patient will make online after suffering from a first psychotic attack, the terms used to search for answers, the websites visited and forums joined. The strategy was to target the patients' caregivers, mostly parents and spouses exposed to the first attack of their loved one unable to seek help alone. The website was designed to contain explanation about the symptoms, to ensure viewers will understand the relevance of the clinical trial to their condition. A dedicated call center for the initial pre-screening was involved to reduce the sites overload and to make sure patients seeking for help urgently will be contacted within 7 minutes from making an interest about the trial. After few weeks the campaign was running, information was gathered regarding the distance patients are willing to travel to be part of the trial, and the geographical area on which the campaign was visible, was amended accordingly.
25% of patients recruited to the study were generated and pre-screened by nRollmed. This achievement represented a higher benefit to the customer, compared to the pro-rata involvement of nRollmed, which was responsible only for part of the sites in less than half of the recruitment period.