Response to written feedback of clinical data within a longitudinal study: a qualitative study exploring the ethical implications

Karen Lorimer, Cindy M. Gray, Kate Hunt, Sally Wyke, Annie S. Anderson, Michaela Benzeval

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There is a growing ethical imperative to feedback research results to participants but there remains a striking lack of empirical research on how people respond to individualised feedback. We sought to explore longitudinal study participants’ response to receiving individual written feedback of weight-related and blood results, and to consider the balance of harms against benefits. A qualitative study with face-to-face and telephone interviews conducted with 50 men and women who had participated in the fifth and most recent wave of the cohort study ‘West of Scotland Twenty-07’ and received a feedback letter containing body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage, cholesterol and glycated haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) results.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBMC Medical Research Methodology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011



  • ethics
  • methodology
  • longitudinal
  • qualitative

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