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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 71-74

Knowledge, attitude, and practice of breast self-examination in female nursing students

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Indira Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Puducherry, India
2 Department of Surgery, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Elamurugan Sujindra
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Indira Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Puducherry
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2395-2296.152216

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Introduction: Breast cancer is the most common malignancy in women. Lack of early detection leads to low survival rates in less developed countries. Breast self-examination (BSE) is a simple, quick, and cost-free procedure for early detection. This study attempts to assess the level of knowledge, attitude, and practice regarding self-breast examination in a cohort of female nursing students. Methodology: A total of 254 female nursing students were included in the study, who filled in the questionnaire. The questionnaire comprised of 21 questions (10 on knowledge, 5 on attitude, and 6 on the practice). For knowledge items, categorical responses (yes, I don't know, and no) were applied with an item score of "2," "1," "0," respectively, for positive knowledge. For attitude and practice, the answers were either yes, no or options were already specified. Results: Response rate was 94.5%. Total mean knowledge score was 14.08 ± 3.42. 87.5% accepted that early detection can improve the chance of survival. 89.2% have heard of BSE and agreed that BSE can help in early detection of breast cancer. 93.3% felt it was necessary to do BSE and 87.5% have done BSE before. 5% of nursing students felt that doing BSE was embarrassing. Only 33.3% preformed BSE regularly in a year. Conclusion: BSE functions as an effective preventive health behavior and an important component of any program for the early detection of breast cancer. Nursing students, being future health advisors, should be adequately informed about early detection methods and trained in BSE.

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