Knowledge and Practices of Female Nurses at Primary Health Care Clinics in Gaza Strip-Palestine Regarding Early Detection of Breast Cancer

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Radiology, Al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza, Palestine Medical Imaging Department, Al-Azhar University, Gaza, Palestine.

2 Ministry of Health, Gaza-Palestine, Palestine.

3 Department of Nursing, Al-Azhar University, Gaza-Palestine, Palestine.

4 Department of Medical Imaging, Al-Azhar University, Gaza-Palestine, Palestine.


Background: Breast cancer (BC) is the leading cause of cancer deaths among females in Palestine. Female nurses play a vital role in increasing women’s awareness of BC early detection. Objective: This study aimed to assess the knowledge and practices of female nurses at Primary Health Care Clinics (PHCCs) in the Gaza Strip regarding early detection of BC. Materials and Methods: This is an analytical, cross-sectional study with a census sample that includes all target female nurses (152) currently working at PHCCs. The study was conducted during the period February 2019 - March 2020.  A structured self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data among female nurses. Descriptive and inferential analyses were used to examine the relationship between the variables. Ethical approval was obtained from a Helsinki Committee Gaza Strip-Palestine. Results: The nurses demonstrated a good knowledge of signs and risk factors of BC,  with scores of 85.3% and 77.9%, respectively. The majority of the participants correctly defined breast self-examination (BSE) and claimed that clinical breast examination (CBE) is a useful tool to detect BC (94.1% and 97.4%, respectively). Nurses who had previous training in CBE had better knowledge than those who had not (t = 3.5; P-value <0.001). Nurses who previously performed mammography had a knowledge score (mean ± SD = 78.1±12.8) higher than those who did not (mean ± SD = 72.5±14). Nurses having previous training had a knowledge score of 8.9 times higher than those without relevant training (t = 4.2, P-value < 0.001). Nurses’ knowledge of BC risk factors  increased the practicing score by a factor of 0.22 (t = 3.0, P-value = 0.003). Conclusion: Nurses demonstrate good knowledge and practices of early BC detection. Previous education sessions affect the knowledge of early detection methods positively.


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