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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 361-369

Predictors of practice of breast self-examination: A study among female undergraduates of Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, Nigeria


Department of Community Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. E N Ossai
Department of Community Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/njcp.njcp_482_18

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Background: Breast cancer is the most common female cancer in both developed and developing countries. This study was designed to determine the predictors of practice of breast self-examination among female undergraduate students of Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, Nigeria. Methodology: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study. A three-stage sampling design was used to select 365 female students of the university. Data were collected using a pretested self-administered questionnaire. Completion of one academic year qualified students for inclusion. Good knowledge of breast self-examination was determined by proportion of respondents who scored 50% and above of 15 variables used to assess knowledge. Results: The mean age of the students was 22.1 ± 2.5 years. Majority (76.4%) were aware of breast self-examination and health workers; 37.0% were the major source of information. A minor proportion (5.8%) have had their close relatives diagnosed with breast cancer. Majority (55.3%) had good knowledge of breast self-examination. Majority (63.6%) have ever-practiced breast self-examination; however, only 15.9% of the respondents examined their breasts on a monthly basis. Predictors of ever-practiced breast self-examination included having good knowledge of breast self-examination (adjusted odds ratios [AOR] =6.4, 95% CI: 3.9–10.4), having a close relative diagnosed with breast cancer (AOR = 4.0, 95% CI: 1.1–15.1), and mother of respondent being self-employed (AOR = 0.5, 95% CI: 0.5–1.5). Conclusions: Awareness of breast self-examination and practice were high among the respondents; however, only a minor proportion practiced breast self-examination every month. Having good knowledge of breast self-examination was associated with its practice. Having a close relative diagnosed with breast cancer encouraged the respondents to prevent the occurrence of breast cancer, thus enabling the practice of breast self-examination. Moreover, the practitioners of breast self-examination taught and encouraged others to examine their breasts. There is a need to increase knowledge of breast self-examination through public health education using the media.


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