Background: Breast cancer is the most prevalent type of cancer among women that is fatal if not diagnosed and treated in due time. Health beliefs play an important role in people's willingness to engage in health-promoting behaviors.
Objective: The aim of the study was to examine the effects of the health belief model (HBM)-based training intervention on women’s health beliefs towards breast cancer screening behaviors.
Methods: The study of educational intervention was conducted on women referred to healthcare centers. The sample was selected by convenient sampling and randomly assigned to control and intervention groups of 50 subjects. The intervention group received the theory-based training intervention, but the control group received only the routine care. Champion’s Health Belief Model Scale (CHBMS) was used for collecting the study data. Data analysis was performed using independent t-test, paired t-test, Chi-squared test, and correlation coefficient in SPSS software version 16.00.
Results: The mean age of the subjects for control and intervention groups was 39.06±9.78, 38.32±8.27, respectively. Overall, 38%, 12% and 13%of the subjects reported breast selfexamination behavior, mammography and clinical breast examinations, respectively. Before the intervention program, the overall mean score of health beliefs in groups of control and intervention was 160.82±23.28, and 159.14±20.61, respectively. After educational intervention, the overall mean score of beliefs in the intervention group changed from 159.14±20.61 to 195.26±24.42, and it was statistically significant (p<0.001). In the control group, after the intervention, no significant changes were observed in the mean score of total health beliefs and were not statistically significant (p>0.05). Among the variables of the HBM, women's perceived self-efficacy toward breast selfexamination experienced the most positive change after an educational intervention.
Conclusion: Our results indicated that HBM-based training significantly improved women’s beliefs toward breast cancer screening behaviors. It is suggested that trainers in the healthcare system use these educational approaches to promote people’s beliefs toward breast cancer and its screening methods.
Keywords: Breast cancer, training intervention, Screening behavior, health belief, mammography, clinical breast examinations.
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