Peer Leaders and Phone Prompts: Implications in the Practice of Breast Care among College Students

Document Type: Research Articles

Author

University of the Philippines Manila, Philippines.

Abstract

Background: Compliance with breast self-examination (BSE) guidelines helps detect breast cancer early while
increasing physical activity decreases the risk of having breast cancer. Finding ways to early initiate and maintain such
behavior among youth is therefore important. In this study we aimed to determine the effects of two health promotion
education interventions on knowledge and attitude to breast care, as well as practice of BSE and physical activity by
female college students. Materials and Methods: A total of 999 students from ten colleges underwent two kinds of
health education strategies for three months, namely the traditional health education program (THEP) and tapping peer
leaders using mobile phone prompts (PPHEP). Results: Improvement in knowledge and attitude was shown for both
groups as compared to the control group. Both interventions equally increased the practice of BSE and maintenance of
the recommended level of physical activity. Conclusion: There was an increase in the knowledge and positive attitude
to breast care and practice of BSE with an improvement in the level of exercise when THEP and PPHEP interventions
were used. Health education with peers using mobile phone prompts offers an alternative and effective way of promoting
BSE and acceptable levels of exercise.

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