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Knowledge of breast cancer screening of greek and italian student midwives. a comparative study

Maria Tigka

Background: Breast cancer is a cancer disease that more often affects women, (1:10 in Europe, 1:8 in America). Since midwives are engaged in the care of women throughout their reproductive life, they are in the ideal position to motivate women concerning the prevention of breast cancer. The aim of this study was to assess the level of knowledge of student midwives on the secondary prevention of breast cancer. Methodology: This study was a prospective, comparative study. The sample study included 116 Greek and 19 Italian student midwives, enrolled in the final year of their course of study for the academic year 2004-2005. The data were collected by the use of a questionnaire consisting of 25 closed-ended questions. The data were analyzed by using descriptive statistics. Results: 69% of the Greek and 84% of the Italian students answered correctly, that the screening test for breast cancer concerns asymptomatic population, p=0,028. Seventy-four percent of the Greek and 84% of the Italian students responded that the clinical exam, the breast self-examination and the mammography are the screening tests that are done routinely, p=0,092. Fifty-three percent of the Greek and 57% of the Italian students were well informed regarding the risk factors of breast cancer, p=0,023. Conclusions: The fore mentioned results suggest the presence of areas of weakness for both the Italian and the Greek students. It seems reasonable to propose the enrichment of their education; because they will be the future health providers that would be in charge of promoting the prevention of breast cancer and therefore should be well informed and trained on the relative subject.