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BackgroundRecruitment for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in IBD have substantially dropped over time. This study aimed to assess reasons why IBD patients are not included in sponsored multicenter phase IIb-III RCTs.MethodsAll IOIBD members (n=58) were invited to participate. We divided barriers to participation as follow: 1) reasons patients with active IBD were not deemed appropriate for a RCT; 2) reasons qualified patients did not wish to participate; 3) reasons for screen failure (SF) in patients agreeing to participate. We assess those in a 4-week prospective study including, consecutively, all patients with symptomatic disease for whom a treatment change was required. In addition, we performed a 6-month retrospective study to further evaluate reasons for SF.ResultsA total of 106 patients (60 male (56.6%), 63 Crohn's disease [CD] (59.4%)), from 10 centers across the world, were included in the prospective study. A RCT has not been proposed to 65 of them (mainly due to eligibility criteria). Of the 41 patients to whom a RCT was offered, 8 refused (mainly due to reluctance to receive placebo) and 28 agreed to participate. Among these 28 patients, 5 failed their screening and 23 were finally included in a RCT. A total of 107 patients (61 male (57%), 67 CD (62.6%)), from 13 centers worldwide, were included in our retrospective study of SFs. The main reason was insufficient disease activity.ConclusionThis first multicenter study analyzing reasons for non-enrollment in IBD RCTs shown that we lose patients at each step. Eligibility criteria, the risk of placebo assignment and insufficient disease activity were part of the main barriers.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Crohn's & colitis

Publication Date



Hepato-Gastroenterology and Digestive Oncology, University Hospital CHU of Liège, Liège, Belgium.