Effect of a Training Programme on Knowledge of Nurses from a Missionary Hospital in India Regarding Breast Cancer and its Screening


A cross-sectional study was conducted among nursing staff of a missionary hospital of Delhi in June 2009. All the nurses were invited to participate in the training programme on breast cancer and techniques of breast selfexamination (BSE). A questionnaire was administered to all 259 participants seeking information on their level of awareness regarding breast cancer and relevant screening guidelines. With the help of 5 training workshopsall the nurses were imparted training regarding the most appropriate technique of doing breast self exams.The mean age of the participants was 35.8 years. Out of a total of 259 nursing staff members 77.2% correctly answered all the 10 questions regarding high risk factors for breast cancer and after the training programme this increased to 100% (p<0.05). Only 65.2% of the participants gave correct responses to all the 8 questions regarding correct technique of performing a BSE, which after the training programme increased to 99.3% (p<0.05). At the baseline only 56.8% knew all the three screening methods correctly and after the intervention98.7% could correctly mark the responses regarding screening (p<0.05). The actual practice of following the screening guidelines amongst the nursing staff was poor. Only 26 (10.03%) had ever done a BSE, none performedit monthly, 58 (22.4%) had ever gone themselves for a CBE and 18 (6. 94%) had ever undergone mammography.