Acceptability and effectiveness of a breast health awareness programme for rural women in India

R. S P Rao, N. Suma, N. S. Nair, V. G. Kamath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Breast cancer being one of the leading cancers among women in developing countries, prevention or identification of the disease at an early stage is of paramount importance in saving as well as improving the quality of life. Breast health awareness appears to be a pragmatic method for this. Objective: To determine the acceptability and effectiveness of an educational intervention programme on breast health awareness for rural women by trained female health workers. Settings and Design: Community based nonrandomised educational intervention study carried out over a period of 1 year. Three hundred and sixty rural women in the age group 30-59 years were randomly selected (and age-wise stratified), from a coastal village in Southern India. Methods: Women were educated on breast health and breast self-examination by specifically trained health workers and their awareness and proficiency levels were evaluated at the end of 1 and 3 months postintervention. Statistical analysis: This was done using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences Version 10. Results: Following the educational intervention, a significant increase in overall awareness regarding breast cancer (z=-15.807; P< 0.001) as well as in the performance of self-examination of the breast 321/342 (93%) was observed. Forgetfulness or being too busy appeared to be the two most frequently perceived barriers. Conclusion: This study clearly shows that a community oriented educational intervention programme emphasizing on proper technique can bring about the desirable behavioural change among women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)398-402
Number of pages5
JournalIndian Journal of Medical Sciences
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 01-09-2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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