Knowledge and practice of breast cancer screening amongst public health nurses in Singapore.

Abstract

AIM OF STUDY The study aimed to examine the knowledge and practice of breast cancer screening amongst Public Health nurses who are patient educators. METHOD A self-administered questionnaire was sent to all 447 nurses in the Public Health Service to assess their knowledge and practice of breast cancer screening. Response rate was 96.4%. Knowledge scores ranged from 0-17 with one point given to a correct knowledge question, zero for wrong answer. RESULTS Median knowledge score was nine and 58.3% of nurses scored > or = 9. Statistically significant factors influencing knowledge scores were related to the nursing profession, namely nursing qualifications, current nursing post and current workplace. 76.2% of Nursing Officers/Higher Nursing Officers and 74.5% of midwives had knowledge scores > or = 9 compared with 57.3% of staff nurses and 40.8% of assistant nurses (p < 0.01). 60.1% of nurses who were taught breast-self examination scored > or = 9 (p < 0.05). As for practice, 93.7% of nurses did breast-self-examination, 54.1% had clinical breast examination in the past one year and 50.2% had mammogram done. On multivariate analysis, significant factors affecting practice of clinical breast examination were marital status (Prevalence Rate Ratio 1.94, 95% Confidence Interval 1.20-3.15), doctor's gender (PRR 1.35, CI 1.04-1.75) and those affecting mammogram were age group (PRR 1.78, CI 1.27-2.48), marital status (PRR 1.63, CI 1.03-2.59), history of breast disease (PRR 1.51, CI 1.06-2.16). CONCLUSIONS The majority of nurses had certain misconceptions in the knowledge of breast cancer and breast cancer screening. A higher proportion of nurses in the Family Health Service had higher knowledge scores than other nurses in the Public Health Service. Most of the nurses did breast-self-examination. Having ever married and the availability of a female doctor influenced the nurses attending clinical breast examination. Nurses who were > or = 50 years old, ever married and those with a positive history of breast disease were more likely to have mammography done.

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@article{Chong2002KnowledgeAP, title={Knowledge and practice of breast cancer screening amongst public health nurses in Singapore.}, author={Phui Nah Chong and Manoharan Krishnan and Chuang Ye Hong and Teck Sin Swah}, journal={Singapore medical journal}, year={2002}, volume={43 10}, pages={509-16} }