Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Medicine (MMed)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Ronald Wasike

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Mushtaq Ahmed

Third Supervisor/Advisor

Aideed Kahie


General Surgery (East Africa)


Background: Breast cancer is characterized by late presentation and significant morbidity and mortality in developing countries. Breast screening aids in early detection of breast cancer. The nursing health worker is uniquely placed to provide advocacy and screening in a resource limited environment.

Objectives: To assess the effectiveness of an abbreviated training program in breast cancer awareness on nurses at a tertiary hospital, the Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi.

Methods: Using a statistical tool, the Solomon Model, 79 nurses were identified and divided into experimental and control groups. An abbreviated training intervention in breast cancer awareness was administered to the experimental group. Pre and post test questionnaires and objective structured clinical examinations were used to determine nurses’ knowledge and practice skills before and after the abbreviated training intervention.

Results: Initial scores of knowledge and practice skills related to clinical breast examination were low: Mean knowledge scores of 18 out of 25(72%) and mean practice scores of 12.5 out of 30(41.6%). Significant improvement was observed following the abbreviated training intervention in both knowledge and practice skills. Knowledge scores of 22 out of 25( 88%, p = < 0.001) and practice scores of 26 out of 30(86.6%, p=0.003).

Trained nurses were able to improve their knowledge of breast cancer from fair to good knowledge.

Conclusion: There is need to increase breast awareness, both in terms of knowledge and practice skills, in nursing health care workers as a means of improving awareness among the general population and early detection of breast cancer. An abbreviated training in breast cancer awareness can improve these skills in nurses.