University of Vermont

Office of Health Promotion Research

OHPR Abstract 12

Abstract 1980-1989

Strauss LM, Solomon LJ, Costanza MC, Worden JK, Foster RS Jr. Breast self-examination practices and attitudes of women with and without a history of breast cancer. J Behav Med. 1987 Aug;10(4):337-50.

Breast self-examination (BSE) practices and attitudes of three groups of women were compared using a mailed survey. Subjects were 59 women with previous breast cancer, 33 women with previously treated benign breast lump(s), and 80 general-population women with no history of breast disease. Groups were compared on frequency, proficiency, and knowledge of BSE. Determinants of practice were examined using attitudinal variables from the Health Belief Model. Results indicated that the breast cancer group had significantly higher rates of BSE frequency, proficiency, and knowledge than did the general-population group. The breast cancer group perceived cancer to be significantly less threatening than did the other two groups, although the general-population group reported significantly less susceptibility to breast cancer. Within-group analyses revealed that barriers to BSE practice accounted for the greatest amount of variance in BSE frequency in all three groups. These results are discussed.

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