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Ethical dilemmas: feeding back results to members of a longitudinal cohort study
  1. A Jeffery,
  2. R Snaith,
  3. L Voss
  1. University Medicine, Peninsula Medical School, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth PL6 8DH, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 A Jeffery
 EarlyBird Study, Children’s Day Beds, Level 12, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth PL6 8DH, UK;

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Does feedback of abnormal results affect validity during a longitudinal study?

A fundamental requirement of research is that no harm should come to the participants; however, being granted ethical approval for research does not imply that individuals will necessarily benefit from participation.

Certain ethical dilemmas become apparent only during the course of a longitudinal cohort study, such as the EarlyBird diabetes study in Plymouth, Devon.1 In this non-intervention study, the aim is to observe children for 12 years, monitoring for early signs of insulin resistance. A substantial volume of data is gathered every 6 months on the children and their parents, relating to lifestyle and indices of metabolic health. …

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