The objective of this study was to assess the level of knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and practices regarding Breast Self-Examination (BSE) among female students at Rusangu University main campus in Zambia. The sample consisted of 180 female students. Data was collected using a self-administered questionnaire. Descriptive and inferential statistics were derived using SPSS V20.0 and Microsoft Excel 2016. Results showed that participants, who had heard about BSE 137 (76.1%), had a satisfactory level of knowledge and the main sources of information were mass media, friends/relatives, nurses and doctors. A general negative attitude (mean response=0.77 on scale of 2; standard deviation=0.80) towards BSE was reported, however the respondent’s beliefs were positive (cumulative mean of 68% corresponding with Bloom’s variable cut-off points=1.35 on a scale of 2). Of the 180 respondents 100 (55.6%) reported to have practiced BSE, among whom good practices (cumulative mean=95.5%) were portrayed. Moderate correlations between knowledge and practices (r=0.495) were found, whereas a low degree of correlation between attitudes and practices (r=0.024), as well as beliefs and practices (r=0.112) were found. In conclusion, more regular and intensified BSE awareness programs among university students are essential to improve knowledge and practices. Further research needs to be done on how to use contemporary methods to disseminate BSE information, in order to improve knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and practices regarding BSE especially among university students.
Michel Vaillant Mutabazi, Sophonie Ndahayo