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Knowledge, Perception, Practice and Barriers of Breast Cancer Health Promotion Activities among Community Pharmacists in Two Districts of Selangor State, Malaysia

  • Beshir, Semira A. ;
  • Hanipah, Monalina A.
  • Published : 2012.09.30

Abstract

Breast cancer is the most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer death among women in Malaysia. Despite the campaigns undertaken to raise the awareness of the public regarding breast cancer, breast cancer screening rates are still low in the country. The community pharmacist, as one of the most accessible healthcare practitioners, could play a role in the provision of breast cancer health promotion services to the community. However, there are no documented data regarding the community pharmacists' involvement in breast cancer related health promotion activities. Hence, this study was conducted to examine self-reported knowledge, practice and perception of community pharmacists on provision of breast cancer health promotion services and to investigate the barriers that limit their involvement. This cross-sectional survey conducted between May to September 2010, included a sample of 35 community pharmacists working in the districts of Hulu Langat and Sepang in state of Selangor. A 22-item validated questionnaire that included both closed and Lickert scale questions was used to interview those pharmacists who gave their informed consent to participate in the study. The data was analysed using SPSS. Only 11.3% of the community pharmacists answered all the questions on the knowledge section correctly. The mean overall knowledge of the community pharmacists on risk factors of breast cancer and screening recommendations is 56%. None of the respondents was currently involved in breast cancer health promotion activities. Lack of time (80%), lack of breast cancer educational materials (77.1%) and lack of training (62.9%) were the top three mentioned barriers. Despite these barriers, 94.3% (33) of the community pharmacists agreed that they should be involved in breast cancer health promotion activities. Hence, there is need to equip community pharmacists with necessary training and knowledge to enable them to contribute their share towards prevention and screening of breast cancer.

Keywords

Breast cancer;community pharmacists;health promotion;Malaysia

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