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Case study: Generating awareness of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Streaming Well worked with the NRAS to raise awareness of the importance of early diagnosis and referral to a specialist in Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Published: 01 Mar 2012

Putting a s-top to pain

The patient video supported the ongoing S-factor campaign.

Client: The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS)

Agency: Streaming Well

Campaign: RA: The importance of an early diagnosis

Timescale: April 2010 to present

A quick look

Streaming Well worked with the NRAS to raise awareness of the importance of early diagnosis and referral to a specialist in Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Through the medium of video, Streaming Well succeeded in reaching diverse audiences of newly diagnosed and undiagnosed people as well as the GPs who are on the front line in ensuring people get the best available treatments for this debilitating condition. Working within a modest budget, Streaming Well and NRAS created a communications tool that has been effective in reaching over 45,000 people in the UK. Outreach to numerous professional and patient advocacy organisations ensured that the video continues to be widely distributed. 


Streaming Well was asked to help the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society in its mission to reach patients and GPs with information about the needs of people who have symptomatic Rheumatoid Arthritis and are undiagnosed or have recently received a diagnosis of RA. GPs in the UK see, on average, one case of rheumatoid arthritis a year. Because the symptoms are variable and can mimic those of many other conditions, some patients are referred to a rheumatologist only after irreversible joint damage has occurred. The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society’s mission includes reaching undiagnosed and recently diagnosed people with RA to stress the importance of being referred to a specialist at the earliest onset of symptoms. Streaming Well rose to the challenge of reaching audiences who have diffuse symptoms and because they are undiagnosed may not be searching for information about a specific condition.


Streaming Well produced and distributed a patient information video, supporting the ongoing S-factor campaign that educates GPs about the early symptoms of RA: Stiffness, Swelling and Squeezing. The video personalises the struggle of people with early RA by telling the story of Jean, a woman who suffered with undiagnosed RA for months before receiving the treatment that prevented further damage to her joints. Featuring a GP with special interest in Rheumatology, the video educates on the importance of getting a rapid referral to a rheumatologist if you show any of the S Factor symptoms.

Streaming Well distributed the video through a ground-breaking online strategy using existing social media channels which engaged viewers without the use of paid search marketing. Posts on twitter, Facebook, YouTube, 5 min and daily motion ensured the messages reached the target audiences of adult women, the primary cohort for the onset of RA. 


Within a modest budget, Streaming Well reached diverse target audiences by placing the video on The Streaming Well Network which delivered over 45,000 video views on general interest sites, as well as Arthritis Research UK and the NRAS website. The video was shown at the annual British Society for Rheumatology (BSR) conference, and will shortly be on the following websites: Royal College of Nursing, Royal College of General Practitioners, NHS Choices, BSR and British Health Professionals in Rheumatology (BHPR).

Client verdict

“We are pleased with the positive response we’ve received from members and all people visiting our website. The video has enabled the NRAS to articulate the importance of getting referred to a rheumatologist as early as possible and has been showcased on our website, as well as in conferences around the country and on others’ websites. This is the first in a series of videos we look forward to producing in collaboration with Streaming Well”
Ailsa Bosworth, CEO NRAS

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