Knowledge, attitude and practice of breast self examination and breast cancer among female medical students in Taif, Saudi Arabia


Introduction and Research Problem: Breast cancer is the most common of all female cancers in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Different studies conducted in the Kingdom have shown that knowledge of females regarding breast cancer is poor. Aim of the study was to determine knowledge, attitude and practice among students of Saudi female medical university towards Breast Self Examination (BSE) and also to explore their knowledge about breast cancer. Research Methodology: An observational cross-sectional study was conducted at Faculty of Medicine, Taif University during October 2013. Sample size was 378 with mean age of 19.9 ± 1.5. A self administrated questionnaire was used to obtain data about knowledge, attitude and practice towards BSE and knowledge about breast cancer. Data were collected and fed to SPSS version 16. Shape of distribution for numerical data was tested by using one sample Kolmogorov-Smirnov test. Chi-Square Test & Fissure Exact Test (FET) were used for testing relation between categorical variables while correlation analysis was used to test the strength of relation between numeric variables. Main Results: The study revealed that only 8.2% of participants had good overall knowledge about breast cancer and BSE. Although 66% of the study sample had positive attitude towards BSE, only 17% reported that they practiced BSE monthly. A significant positive moderate correlation was found between overall knowledge score and attitude towards BSE (r = 0.449 & p = 0.000). The same was for the frequency of BSE practice but it was found to be in a weak magnitude (r = 0.223 & p = 0.000). Conclusion and Recommendations: Although there was lack of knowledge about breast cancer and BSE yet, positive attitude towards BSE was encouraging. Most female medical students in our sample did not perform BSE or perform it irregularly. Therefore, more intensified awareness programs among students of medical university are necessary to keep in view their current status of breast cancer and BSE knowledge. Further researches are needed to identify causes of inadequate knowledge and practice of BSE among medical students in Taif.

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Nemenqani, D. , Abdelmaqsoud, S. , Al-Malki, A. , Oraija, A. and Al-Otaibi, E. (2014) Knowledge, attitude and practice of breast self examination and breast cancer among female medical students in Taif, Saudi Arabia. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, 4, 69-77. doi: 10.4236/ojpm.2014.42011.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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