Socio-demographic Factors and the Practice of Breast Self Examination and Mammography by Turkish Women


Objective: The health beliefs and experiences of women related to preventive behavior must be understoodwithin the cultural context. The present study was conducted to assess socio-demographic characteristics affectingbreast cancer health beliefs of Turkish women.
Methods: This research was conducted in an area covered bythree neighborhood public education centres in Bornova, Izmir. The data were collected from 382 women over40 years of age who were selected using a stratified random sampling method, using a descriptive informationform and the Champion’s Health Belief Model Scale (CHBMS). Data was analyzed by t test, variance analysisand Duncan test.
Results: Some 40.6 % of women performed BSE, and 34.0% had undergone mammography.There was a significant difference in CHBMS total mean score of women according to age, marital status,family type, regarding information about breast cancer. Variation in scores on susceptibility, seriousness, benefits,barriers, health motivation, and confidence were observed regarding women who performed BSE (p<0.05) butnot mammography.
Conclusion: The effective socio-demographic characteristics of breast cancer health beliefsof women should be considered in the design of breast health promotion and screening programs because theyare likely to have a bearing on Turkish women’s attitudes regarding the value they perceive in cancer screening.