Breast Cancer Screening Behavior in Turkish Women: Relationships with Health Beliefs and Self-esteem, Body Perception and Hopelessness


The purpose was to examine breast cancer screening behavior in Turkish women, the reasons for not doingscreening and the relationship between health beliefs and levels of self-esteem, body perception, and hopelessness.This research was conducted as a descriptive, correlational study in an area covered by three neighborhoodprimary health care clinics in Bornova, Izmir. The data were collected between April and November 2006 from382 women over 40 years of age who were selected using a stratified random sampling method and a descriptiveinformation form, Champion’s Health Belief Model Scale (CHBMS), the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES),the Body Cathexis Scale (BCS) and the Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS). The breast cancer screening methodsused by women participating in the research were, respectively, mammography (34%), clinical breast examination(14.1%), breast self-examination (BSE) (59.4%). The reasons why women did not do breast cancer screeningmethods were determined to be: not having any symptoms, neglect, not sensing the need, and not knowing howBSE is done. In the examination of the women’s CHBMS subscale score means and RSES, BCS and BHS scoremean a statistically significant relationships were determined between Benefits-BSE, Barriers-BSE, Confidence,Health motivation, Benefits-mammography and barriers-mammography subscale score means and RSES, BCSand BHS mean scores (p<0.01). It was found out that women with high level of self-esteem, high level of hope forthe future and with a positive body perception have more positive health beliefs on breast cancer screening.