When undertaking research involving human participants, researchers may make a finding that has potential health or reproductive importance to an individual participant. A participant may also disclose a health or reproductive finding that is not related to the proposed project. Researchers should refer to the Framework on the feedback of health-related findings in research (PDF, MRC website), published by the Medical Research Council and Wellcome Trust. The framework states that when establishing a study involving human participants or re-consenting participants for follow-on research to an existing study, researchers are expected to:

  • have a policy that indicates whether or not health-related findings will be fed back to individuals that can be clearly articulated, and be able to demonstrate the reasoning behind their policy to research participants, funders and the research ethics committee
  • include clear information on the study policy on the feedback of health-related findings in the consent process
  • in cases where the policy is to provide individual feedback on the health-related findings, develop a practical feedback pathway that is adequately resourced.