Breast cancer education for schoolgirls: An exploratory study

Brown, Nicola, Smith, Jenny, Brasher, Amanda, Atefeh, Omrani and Wakefield-Scurr, Joanna (2017) Breast cancer education for schoolgirls: An exploratory study. European Journal of Cancer Prevention. ISSN 0959-8278

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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: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Breast cancer; breast awareness; adolescents; breast education; school,
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
L Education > L Education (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: Departments > Sport and Exercise Sciences
Depositing User: Jenny Smith
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2017 10:14
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2019 14:18
URI: http://eprints.chi.ac.uk/id/eprint/2641

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