FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH THE PRACTICE OF BREAST SELF EXAMINATION: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW
Background: Breast Self-Examination (BSE) practice empowers women in taking control for their own breast health. It also has the potential in improving prognosis of breast cancer outcome. This narrative review aims to understand the factors associated with BSE practice. These information are pertinent to inform health professionals in designing and developing health educational programs for improving breast health status amongst women.
Materials and Methods: A scoping systematic literature review was conducted to assess factors associated with breast self-examination practice. The search for articles was performed in a systematic manner using different databases, including Public Domain databases and journal websites such as PubMed, MEDLINE, and ScienceDirect.com. Boolean operators were used, for combinations of the following keywords; factors associated, breast self-examination and breast self-awareness. Studies selected were based on a multi-stage screening of keywords, titles, abstracts, and the full-text of the articles, to ensure the relevance of the included articles. Included studies were quantitative studies written in English and published as free full-text articles. Studies with a qualitative approach, and those which did not deal with females or had an inadequate focus on knowledge, belief, and BSE practice were excluded.
Result: A total of 11 articles were included in the review. Careful analysis revealed that majority of the studies were involving female students, working women (healthcare employee), and a group of women from rural and city areas. Overall, the independent variables identified include socio-demographic characteristics, knowledge, belief, breast health history, and access to breast health promotion programme. All the included independent variables had shown significant associations with BSE practice (p<0.05).
Conclusion: The practice of BSE as part of breast self-awareness program was associated with several independent variables that include the demographic profile of the women as well as their understanding and belief towards BSE. It is important to identify all these variables to inform further intervention in improving breast health awareness among women.Keywords: factors associated, breast self-examination and breast self-awareness