A practical checklist for return of results from genomic research

Viking Genes' pioneering work helps European researchers to propose pathway checklist for return of genetic results to research participants.

Sharing a policy document

All participants in Viking Genes have been given the opportunity to consent to the return of “actionable” genetic results. Increasing numbers of other research studies are also starting to plan for returning such individual genetic research results to study volunteers.

However, the process to achieve this is not straightforward and standardised guidelines do not exist for the European context. A checklist of the main considerations around returning genomic research results has therefore been proposed by a team with a range of different backgrounds, including the Viking Genes project manager, Dr Shona Kerr.

The team analysed relevant documents and met to obtain expert consensus. This allowed them to develop a checklist of steps to assist researchers in their considerations around returning results to research participants. The checklist provides a clear outline of the steps European researchers can follow to develop ethical and sustainable result return pathways within their own research projects.

My contribution to this project stemmed from the pioneering work we’re doing in Viking Genes to return results to our participants. I’m pleased if this helps other researchers to develop similar pathways within their own research projects.

Dr Shona Kerr
Viking Genes project manager

The research paper is published in the European Journal of Human Genetics 

A practical checklist for return of results from genomic research in the European context