KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDE AND PRACTICE OF BREAST SELF-EXAMINATION AMONG UNDERGRADUATE HEALTH SCIENCE FEMALE STUDENTS
Background: Breast cancer is a common cancer which gives risk to one out of 19 women aged between 30 and 60 years in Malaysia. Breast self-examination (BSE) has a role in early detection of the cancer and moreover it is convenient and cheap compared with the other screening methods. Therefore, promoting regular BSE among women is vigorous. The study aimed to assess the level of knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) of BSE among undergraduate health science female students.
Materials and Methods: A self-administered questionnaire to assess KAP of BSE was used in this cross-sectional study. The samples consisted of 220 undergraduate health science female students. Samples were recruited using simple random sampling method. Data were analysed descriptively using SPSS version 22.0.
Result: Two hundred and twenty respondents completed the questionnaires giving a response rate of 92%. Most of the respondents (89.5%) have heard about BSE and more than half (52.3%) of them knew that they should have started practising BSE from the age of 18 to 20 years. However, less than half of the respondents (39.5%) knew that they should start practising BSE a week after menstrual period. Sadly, more than three quarters (77.3%) claimed to practise BSE only rarely.
Conclusion: This study found that the undergraduate health science female students had good knowledge, positive attitude, but poor compliance in practising BSE. Therefore, a structured health and educational programme is highly recommended to improve their compliance to practise BSE. It is crucial for the students to have a good practice of BSE to reduce the incidence of breast cancer among them.Keywords: Breast Cancer, Breast Self-Examination, Nursing Students, Knowledge, Attitude, Practice.