Breast cancer education for schoolgirls: An exploratory study

Brown, Nicola and Smith, Jenny and Brasher, Amanda and Omrani, Atefeh and Wakefield-Scurr, Joanna (2017) Breast cancer education for schoolgirls: An exploratory study. European Journal of Cancer Prevention. ISSN 1473-5709 (In Press)

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/CEJ.0000000000000356

Abstract

Objectives Adolescent girls are an important target group for breast cancer education and promoting breast awareness. However, research has not established schoolgirls perceived importance of breast cancer education, or explored factors which may impact engagement. This study aimed to identify schoolgirls concerns about breast cancer, desire to know more and perceived importance of breast cancer education, and explored associations with demographic factors. Methods Of 2089 schoolgirls (11-18 years) surveyed, 1958 completed all relevant breast cancer questions and demographic factors (ethnicity, school type, breast size, physical activity level and age). Chi-squared tests assessed associations between demographics, desire to know more and perceived importance of breast cancer. Results 44% of schoolgirls reported concerns about breast cancer, 72% wanted to know more, and 77% rated the topic as extremely important. Breast size was not associated with wanting to know more about breast cancer. Schoolgirls who wanted to know more about breast cancer were White, from single sex schools with boys at sixth form, more physically active and older. However, among other ethnic groups, school types and physical activity levels the proportion of girls who wanted to know more about breast cancer was still high (≥61%). Conclusions This study provides evidence of the need for breast cancer education for schoolgirls across all school types, irrespective of breast size or physical activity levels. Results highlight the need to be inclusive and engage schoolgirls from all ethnic groups and to promote breast awareness at a young age to ensure effective breast cancer education.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: This the accepted manuscript version of the article. The Version of Record is published within the European Journal of Cancer Prevention (2017).
Uncontrolled Keywords: Breast cancer; breast awareness; adolescents; breast education; school
School/Department: School of Sport, Health and Applied Science
Depositing User: Kevin Sanders
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2017 13:51
Last Modified: 07 Apr 2017 10:48
URI: http://research.stmarys.ac.uk/id/eprint/1402

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