Breast self-examination in an urban population: Estimates of prevalence and quality of performance

Jill G Joseph, J. S. Simpson, C. E. MacDonald, C. L. Unsworth, L. M. Carpenter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


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 languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-159
Number of pages4
JournalNew Zealand Medical Journal
Issue number797
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Breast self-examination in an urban population: Estimates of prevalence and quality of performance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this