Background: The incidence of breast cancer is rising rapidly worldwide. Midwives have an important role in early detection of the disease by providing the patients with awareness and an accurate Clinical Breast Examination (CBE) of the patients that are effective in early detections. This study investigated the knowledge, attitudes and practices of midwives toward breast cancer.
Methods: The study was conducted on 210 of midwives aged 20-62 who participated in a seminar for clarifying the role of knowledge, attitudes and practices in breast cancer early detection and prevention. The data were collected using a standard questionnaire which has 4 sections with 55 items including age, educational level, number of family members, marital status, family history of breast cancer and their knowledge, attitude and practices about breast cancer screening. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 13.0.
Results: About two-third of the participants (65.9%) had excellent knowledge about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer. The results revealed that 30.8% of respondents performed self-examination once a month. There was a significant correlation between the knowledge of breast cancer and adopting preventive practices (P = 0.02). The level of their attitude was significantly associated with a positive family history of breast cancer (P= 0.03). There was no significant relationship between marital status or family history of breast cancer with CBE.
Conclusion: An appropriate level of knowledge and practice of breast cancer screening was observed to help prevention among midwives. The findings can have remarkable practical implications as midwives can play an important role to broaden the breast-cancer-related knowledge of women.
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