A study on assessment of behavioural change with regard to early detection of breast cancer through educational intervention focused on ashas

John Alexander., Balasubramanian Arjun., Rajani G., Paul Nimitha., Sathees Lalu Jishnu and Gangadharan P

Introduction: Breast cancer is the commonest cancer among women in India and account for 19-34% of all cancer cases. (7-9) By 2030, there would be about 2.39 million incident cases of breast cancer worldwide of which 214,150 cases would be in India.(3) Late diagnosis is a major factor for high mortality in India. This is attributed to lack of awareness and non-existent breast cancer screening programs.(6) Training ASHAs to bring about behaviour change in women may be a strategy which is sustainable, effective and acceptable to the local community. Therefore, this study was done to assess if an educational intervention through ASHAs would lead to positive behaviour change.
Material & Methods: A community based educational intervention study was done in Chernanellore Panchayat of Ernakulam district in Kerala. Three out of nine wards were randomly selected and a baseline survey was conducted relating to breast cancer. Following this, an educational intervention was given to the ASHA workers, who then conducted health education classes in the study area. Three months later, an endline survey was conducted. Results: Mean age of the 219 respondents was 41.28±11.58 years. Though 95.7% had heard about breast cancer and 55.7% were aware of self-breast examination, only 21.5% practiced the same. Majority of women (98.8%) had a positive attitude towards treatment. Post intervention there was significant increase in awareness and practice of self-breast examination; 78.5% of the study population was aware and 53.9% practiced self-breast examination post the intervention. Practice of self-breast examination was significantly associated with awareness about it.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24327/ijcar.2017.7183.1095
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