Effects of Peer and Group Education on Knowledge, Beliefs and Breast Self-Examination Practice among University Students in Turkey

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Aims: To determine the effects of peer and group education on knowledge and beliefs about breast cancer and performance of breast self&#8211;examination (BSE). Materials and Methods: The study included a total of 193 female university students, of whom 59 were assigned to peer education and 134 to group education. Data collected at baseline and after six months included sociodemographic characteristics, knowledge of breast cancer and BSE and performance of BSE forms, and Champion´s Health Belief Model Scale. Data were analyzed using the chi-square, McNemar chi-square, independent Student´s t, and paired Student´s t tests. Results: Mean knowledge scores increased from 42.08 ± 13.89 to 65.26 ± 13.08 after peer education (P < 0.001) and from 41.44 ± 12.79 to 63.74 ± 11.74 after group education (P < 0.001). The rate of regular BSE increased from 25.9% to 55.7% six months after peer education (P < 0.001) and from 45.5% to 62.2% after group education (P < 0.001). Perceived benefits and confidence related to BSE increased and perceived barriers decreased significantly after both interventions. Conclusions: Knowledge about breast cancer and BSE practice increased and perceived health beliefs improved equally after both interventions. Depending on the resources available, nurses and other health professionals may choose either peer or group education to increase breast awareness among young women.


Breast cancer, breast self-examination, health beliefs, peer education, group education

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