PURPOSE: Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women worldwide. Educational and awareness programs impact early practices of breast self-examination, resulting in the early detection of cancer and thereby decreasing mortality. The study aimed to assess the levels of knowledge and awareness of breast cancer and breast self-examination among medical and nursing students in Oman and to compare their knowledge, attitudes, and skills after a training program.
METHODS: This quasi-experimental study was carried out for female 90 medical and 80 nursing students in Oman in November 2019. A pre-test questionnaire was given before the training program and a post-test questionnaire was administered after the training program. Students’ knowledge, attitude, and skills regarding breast cancer and breast self-examination were compared. Scores for skills of practicing breast self-examination were compared between lecture and activity group and lecture-only group.
RESULTS: Pre-test and post-test data were collected from 170 female students. Significant improvements were observed in the post-test scores for students’ knowledge, attitude, and skills after the intervention (P<0.001). The mean scores for skills of practicing breast self-examination after the lecture and the activity were higher than those obtained after the lecture only (P=0.014 for medical students and P=0.016 for nursing students).
CONCLUSION: An educational training program on breast cancer and breast self-examination with an emphasis on skills can motivate participants to perform breast self-examination regularly, and may therefore help students to train other women to perform breast self-examination for the early detection of breast cancer.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.