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Last updated: May 15, 2018

Psychological and social impacts

Psychological issues: While genetic results may be long awaited by some participants, results may be unexpected and poorly understood by others, raising emotional concerns and anxiety. The potential uncertainty of findings and personal and sensitive information about disease risk, disability risk, paternity, or ancestry may be difficult for some and result in feelings of determinism.

Social issues: The familial nature of genetic information means individuals share their genes with close relatives and therefore research findings may have an impact on their family and community, potentially resulting in communication and relationship challenges.

Have you thought about?

  • Will any findings impact on the participants’ siblings, parents or even their broader community?
  • Will children involved in studies be consented when they are older? If so, who will be responsible for this?
  • Consider the numbers of studies your participant group may be invited to participate in and the potential for ‘consent fatigue’. This may inform the way in which you choose to approach consent.