Self-Care Education Programs Based on a Trans-Theoretical Model in Women Referring to Health Centers: Breast Self-Examination Behavior in Iran

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of health education and promotion, School of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences

2 Department of Epidemiology, School of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences


Background: Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers and a major public health problem in developing countries. However, early detection and treatment may be achieved by breast self-examination (BSE). Despite the importance of BSE in reducing the incidence of breast cancer and esultant deaths, the disease continues to be the most common cause of cancer death among women in Iran.This study aimed to determine the effects of self-care education on performance of BSE among women referring to health centers in our country. Materials and Methods: This quasi-experimental interventional study with pretest/posttest control group design was conducted on 168 women referred to health centers. The data were collected using a validated researcher-made questionnaire including demographic variables and trans-theoretical model constructs as well as a checklist assessing BSE behavior. The instruments were administered to groups with and without self-care education before, a week after, and 10 weeks after the intervention. Then, the data were entered into the SPSS statistical software (version 19) and analyzed using independent sample t-tests, paired sample t-test, repeated measures ANOVA, Chi-square, and Friedman tests (p<0.05). Results: The results showed an increase in the intervention group’s mean scores of trans-theoretical model constructs (stages of change, self-efficacy, decisional balance, and processes of change) and BSE behavior compared to the control group (p<0.001). Conclusion: The study confirmed the effectiveness of aneducational intervention based ona trans-theoretical model in performing BSE. Therefore, designing educational interventions based on this model is recommended to improve women’s health and reduce deaths due to breast cancer.