Purpose/Objectives: To examine Jordanian nurses' knowledge of a and proficiency with breast self-examination (BSE) and early detection of breast cancer.
Setting: Seven governmental and three private hospitals in the country of Jordan.
Sample: 395 female nurses working in different healthcare settings. Their ages ranged from 21-51 years (X= 31); nursing experience ranged from 1-30 years (X= 16).
Methods: Subjects completed a researcher-developed knowledge test consisting of 24 questions derived from the American Cancer Society's guidelines regarding risk factors associated with breast cancer and methods of early detection and from Jordan's breast cancer statistics. Responses to the knowledge test were summed for an overall knowledge score. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize data.
Main Research Variables: Knowledge of breast cancer and early detection and practice of BSE.
Findings: Nurses had low mean levels of knowledge about early detection and facts related to breast cancer in Jordan (X= 51%, SD = 19). Although 86% (n = 343) of the nurses reported performing BSE, only 18% (n = 62) reported doing so on a monthly basis.
Conclusions: Nurses had limited levels of knowledge about breast cancer and methods of early detection; few nurses practiced BSE monthly.
Implications for Nursing: Continuing education programs for nurses are urgently needed to improve nurses' knowledge about breast cancer and BSE. Additional studies to examine the impact of other variables on the practice of early-detection methods should be conducted, such as those that determine faculty knowledge and beliefs about early detection, those that assess curriculum content about breast cancer and its early detection, and those that assess other healthcare providers' knowledge and beliefs about early detection. Intervention studies that aim to increase nurses' knowledge of breast cancer and their practice of early-detection methods would be beneficial.
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