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Knowledge and Practice of Breast Self - Examination and associated Factors among women Students in west Arsi Zone , Southeast Ethiopia

Habib Kedir, Kemal Ahmed, Adem Abdulkadir, Tilahun Ermeko Wanamo* and Abate Lette


Breast cancer is the leading cause for maternal mortality globally, especially in developing countries like Ethiopia. The incidence is increasing specially in developing regions. Regular breast self-examination is one of the most cost-effective method for early detection of breast cancer in asymptomatic women.


The aim of the study is to assess the level of knowledge and breast self-examination practice, and its associated factors among students in private universities at west Arsi zone, south east Ethiopia.


A facility based cross-sectional study design was conducted from April 1 to 30, 2018. A total of 355 undergraduate female students were participated in the study. Simple random sampling technique was used to select the study participants. Binary and multivariate logistics regression analyses was applied using backward step wise method with p <0.05 and p > 0.25 criteria to enter and exit from the model respectively. Odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals were computed and significance of all tests was determined at p≤0.05.


From all participants 84(23.7%) were knowledgeable about breast self-examination and 148(41.7%) and 65(18.3%) of them have knowledge about sign and risk of breast cancer respectively. Only 112(31.5%) ever practiced breast self-examination, from those 79(22.3) of them practice breast self-examination monthly and most them started breast self-examination between age of 20-30 years. After adjusting for possible confounders; Field of study, knowledge of breast cancer risk and sign were significantly associated with knowledge of breast self-examination. Knowledge about breast self-examination and from constructs of health belief model perceived susceptibility and perceived barriers were significantly associated with breast self-examination practice.


Knowledge and practice of breast self-examination of undergraduate female students was low as a National guideline of Ethiopia FMOH that states all female age above 20 years should practice BSE. Therefore, the health sector should design strategies to improve female students’ knowledge and practice of breast self-examination.

Published Date: 2021-10-23; Received Date: 2021-06-30