REFERENCE: Kenney, E., Hovell, M. F., Dockter, B., Chin, L., Mewborn, C. R. (1986). Training breast self-examination to competence: Assessment of an educational program. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 5, 65-79.

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of behavioral rehearsal training on breast self-examination (BSE) skills, confidence and anxiety levels. Fifty-one university women participated as the training group, 22 women served as the no-training comparison group. Pre- and post-training measures were obtained for each group. BSE skill was measured by direct observation and symptom detection ability was measured through breast model examination. Confidence and anxiety were measured by interview using a 6-point scale. The training group received thorough group instruction and individual BSE practice with feedback.

The experimental group obtained a pre-test mean of 28% correctly performed BSE steps, which increased following training to 92% (P < 0.001). The control group showed essentially no change. BSE confidence increased and breast cancer anxiety decreased significantly in the experimental group, while the control group showed essentially no change. These results suggest that behavioral BSE training is effective for increasing BSE skills and confidence, and decreasing anxiety.


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