[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The incidence of breast cancer in Asia is rapidly rising. Knowledge and perception often influence attendance at screening programmes. However, there has not been any survey to assess the level of knowledge of breast cancer in an Asian population. Singapore has a multiracial population and is the only Asian country with a national screening programme. We conducted a survey on 1,000 women to assess their level of knowledge and screening practices.
A self-administered questionnaire was used, where one point was given for a correct answer and zero for an incorrect / "not sure" response. The maximum knowledge score was 19. The women were also surveyed for their screening practices. Points were not assigned to questions on practice.
The response rate was 100 percent. The mean score was 11.4 and the median was 12 (range 0-19). The scores were high for general knowledge and disease progression, but poor for risk factors, screening, symptoms and treatment. Several myths and misconceptions were prevalent. Only 53 percent did regular breast self-examination (BSE), while 57 percent of women aged 40 years and above had gone for a screening mammogram. Increasing age, Malay race, lower educational level, lower socioeconomic class and not knowing anyone with breast cancer were significant independent predictors of poor knowledge. Higher educational level and knowledge scores were significant independent predictors of BSE practice and screening mammogram attendance.
Knowledge affects practice. Public education is required to correct misconceptions and focus on women with poor knowledge. This would help to improve screening attendance rates.
Singapore medical journal 03/2009; 50(2):132-8. · 0.63 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Health professionals are a direct source of medical information to the public. Hence, it is crucial that their knowledge is accurate and aids in building awareness. Our aim was to ascertain the level of breast cancer knowledge and screening practices among nurses in a general hospital.
Between January and April 2004, all registered nurses in a general hospital were surveyed by a self-administered questionnaire for their knowledge of breast cancer and screening practices. One point was given for a correct knowledge answer and zero for wrong/"not sure" answer. The maximum knowledge score was 19.
There were 716 (79.4 percent) respondents. The median score was 16 (range 2-19). The scores were high for general knowledge and natural disease progression, fair for knowledge of symptoms and treatment, but dropped when it came to knowledge of risk factors and screening. Nurses also held several common misconceptions held by the public. Those who had managed breast cancer patients had higher total scores (15.7). Only 63 percent did regular breast self-examination (BSE) and only 35 percent had gone for a screening mammogram. Chinese nurses who had managed breast cancer patients were more likely to do regular BSE.
Nurses working in a general hospital had good knowledge of breast cancer progression, average understanding of symptoms and treatment, but lacked knowledge in risk factors and screening. They had low BSE and mammographic screening rates. Experience in managing breast cancer patients improved their knowledge and practices.
Singapore medical journal 03/2007; 48(2):158-62. · 0.63 Impact Factor