Health Beliefs and Breast Cancer Screening Behaviors among Iranian Female Health Workers


Background: Breast cancer is a serious health problem. Early detection is crucial for optimal treatment andreducing mortality.
Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate health beliefs concerning performance ofbreast self- examination (BSE) and mammography in a sample of Iranian female health workers. Materialsand
Methods: This cross-sectional study was performed among 441 female health care workers (physicians=88,nurses=163, midwives=38, officers=68, and others=84) in 3 different health centers in Yazd, Iran. Data werecollected using a self administered questionnaire which included demographic characteristics and thenPersianversion of the Champion’s Health Belief Model Scale (CHBMS).
Results: The mean age of the participants was34.7±13.7. It was found that 41.9% of the workers performed BSE in the past and 14.9% of them regularly,but only 10.6% of them had undergone a mammogram. Perceived barriers to BSE (F=6.351, P=0.021) andmammography (F=5.214, p=0.022) were significantly higher in officers than physicians, nurses or midwives.Perceived barriers were lower among those who had performed BSE and mammography, but not significant(p=0.34 and p=0.56, respectively). Furthermore, perceived susceptibility and perceived benefits of the workerswho had BSE and mammography were significantly higher than who did not (p<0.05). Perceived seriousness wasnot a significant variable in BSE and mammography (p=0.71 and p=0.43, respectively).
Conclusions: The healthbeliefs of health workers concerning the perceived susceptibility of breast cancer and the perceived benefits BSEand mammography significantly impact their screening practices.