An intervention-based study to assess the acceptability and effectiveness of a breast health awareness program among rural women of Southern Haryana, India
Avinash Surana1, Rakesh Tank2, DR Rajesh3, Abhishek Singh4, Vikas Gupta5, Deepika Agrawal6, Virender Kumar Chhoker7
1 Assistant Director Health, Rajasthan, India
2 Department of Internal Medicine, SHKM Government Medical College, Nalhar, Haryana, India
3 Department of Forensic Medicine, Indira Gandhi Medical College, Puducherry, India
4 Department of Community Medicine, SHKM Government Medical College, Nalhar, Haryana, India
5 Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Shahdol, Madhya Pradesh, India
6 Department of Community Medicine, Santosh Medical College, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
7 Department of Forensic Medicine, Santosh Medical College, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
Dr. Vikas Gupta
Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Shahdol, Madhya Pradesh
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Introduction: Breast cancer is among the most prevalent cancers in India and improving breast cancer awareness among women has shown to overcome the barriers related to diagnosis and treatment. Although breast self-examination (BSE) being quite easy and fast procedure, it a matter of debate that in limited-resource settings, it could be implemented or not, and hence, the present study was conducted to assess the acceptability and effectiveness of a breast health awareness program among rural women.
Methods: The present prospective interventional study was conducted for a duration of 12 months among 270 rural women in the age group of 30–59 years. A pretested questionnaire was used to collect data. The activity of the study was divided into three parts, i.e., pretest, intervention and posttest. McNemar's Chi-square was used to examine the association between each dependent variable at pretest and posttest and an association was statistically significant if the P < 0.05.
Results: Only 17.2% were aware of BSE and among them, not even single has ever practiced BSE. The pretest and posttest median awareness scores were 3 and 5, respectively, whereas the mean awareness score pretest and posttest were 2.76 ± 1.525 and 5.07 ± 1.598, respectively. Awareness regarding risk factors for breast cancer before training (11.1%) was increased significantly after training (35.2%) but to a little extent only (P < 0.001).
Conclusion: The present study highlights the levels of baseline awareness of breast cancer in rural women, which is unacceptably low, but educational intervention by field health workers having significantly improved their level of awareness, including the BSE practices. The study also found various barriers for not performing BSE among participants.