Title

Impact of an educational intervention on breast cancer knowledge in western Kenya

Document Type

Article

Department

Obstetrics and Gynaecology (East Africa)

Abstract

Our objective was to assess the effectiveness of educational sessions that accompanied breast cancer screening events in three communities in western Kenya between October and November 2013. Five hundred and thirty-two women were recruited to complete a test of breast cancer-relevant knowledge and randomly allocated to ‘pre-test’ or ‘post-test’ groups that immediately preceded or followed participation in the educational sessions. The education was organized as a presentation by health professionals and focused mainly on causes of breast cancer, early and late cancer presentation signs, high-risk groups, screening methods to find early-stage breast cancer, self-breast exam procedures and treatment options for this disease. Participants were invited to ask questions and practice finding nodules in silicone breast models. The median age was 35 years (interquartile range: 28–45), and 86% had not undergone breast cancer screening previously. Many individual items in our test of knowledge showed statistically significant shifts to better-informed responses. When all items in the assessment questionnaire were scored as a ‘test’, on average there was a 2.80 point (95% CI: 2.38, 3.22) significant improvement in knowledge about breast cancer after the educational session. Our study provides evidence for the effectiveness of an educational strategy carefully tailored for women in these communities in Kenya.

Publication

Health Education Research

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