Interview data from 434 women (aged ≥ 20 years) in two Wellington suburban areas were used to estimate the prevalence and quality of performance of breast self-examination. Although 98% of women were familiar with breast self-examination, and 73% had performed it at least once, only 39% did so at least monthly. Its practice was significantly more common in the middle years (30-59), among Europeans, and in women with tertiary education. Thoroughness or quality of performance was assessed by comparison with Cancer Society recommendations. Scores for examination technique were generally high (mean = 73%) compared with those assessing timing (mean = 47.5%) and conditions under which breast self-examination was performed (mean = 43.3%). Results from this study were compared with 1975-76 New Zealand survey data which produced lower estimates of the prevalence of monthly breast self-examination. Both studies found that more than a quarter of women have never practiced it. Future research and intervention efforts should be directed toward this group of women.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||New Zealand Medical Journal|
|State||Published - 1986|
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