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Last updated: Apr 09, 2018

Returning results and considerations beyond the study

Key considerations:
  • Models of returning results and incidental findings differ depending on the study and the participants’ wants and needs (clinical utility).
  • Not all results need to be returned to a participant, and it is important to consider which findings should be returned and how this will be done.
  • After the study, there may be ongoing obligations to the participant particularly if samples or data are being retained for future studies and if findings or genomic information is being published.

Researchers have an obligation to act responsibly and ethically when returning participants’ results and need to taking into account the analytical validity, medical significance and utility, and participants’ rights and wants (including any informed refusals of information). 

After the study, there may also be ongoing obligations to the participant particularly if samples or data are being retained for future studies and if findings or genomic information is being published. It is important to be aware of your obligations beyond the study. 

This section addresses: