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The search for clarity in communicating research results to study participants
  1. D I Shalowitz1,
  2. F G Miller2
  1. 1
    Bioethics Program, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
  2. 2
    Department of Bioethics, The Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA
  1. Mr D I Shalowitz, Bioethics Program, University of Michigan Medical School, NI7C27/SPC 5429, 300 North Ingalls St, Ann Arbor, MI 48109–5429, USA; dshalowi{at}


Current guidelines on investigators' responsibilities to communicate research results to study participants may differ on (1) whether investigators should proactively re-contact participants, (2) the type of results to be offered, (3) the need for clinical relevance before disclosure, and (4) the stage of research at which results should be offered. Lack of consistency on these issues, however, does not undermine investigators' obligation to offer to disclose research results: an obligation rooted firmly in the principle of respect for research participants.

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  • Competing interests: None declared.

  • Disclaimer: The opinions expressed are the authors’ own. They do not represent any position or policy of the United States National Institutes of Health, Public Health Service or Department of Health and Human Services.

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