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Curran, D., Kekewich, M., & Foreman, T. (2019). Examining the use of consent forms to promote dissemination of research results to participants. Research Ethics, 15(1), 1–28. https://doi.org/10.1177/1747016118798877


It is becoming widely recognized that dissemination of research results to participants is an important action for the conclusion of a research study. Most research institutions have standardized consent documents or templates that they require their researchers to use. Consent forms are an ideal place to indicate that results of research will be provided to participants, and the practice of inserting statements to this effect is becoming more conventional. In order to determine the acceptance of this practice across Canada we conducted an assessment of 121 institutional consent document templates from 65 institutions (hospitals and universities) looking for language that endorsed results dissemination to participants. About half (51%) of the documents we examined had language included which stated that results should be made available. In an era where research participation in hospital settings and universities is becoming ubiquitous there should be a reciprocal expectation that results should be provided. The success of research should be measured in part by its accessibility and dissemination to all stakeholders.