Although advocate roles and titles differ slightly from one cooperative group to another depending on the structure and specific needs of the group, their function is comparable from group to group. In all the cooperative groups patient advocates sit on and participate in disease committee activities, including discussion and comment on ideas and concepts presented to a committee, protocol development, conference calls, reviewing informed consent documents and committee decision making regarding prioritization of studies. Advocates are also part of administrative and modality committee activities, playing an active role in education, ethics, quality of life, cancer control/prevention and diversity committees among others. The degree of participation among advocates varies according to the experience and assertiveness of the advocate, the culture of the committee and the committee chair's comfort level with advocate participation.
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