Effectiveness of an Educational Intervention among Public Health Midwives on Breast Cancer Early Detection in the District of Gampaha, Sri Lanka

  • Vithana, P.V.S. Chiranthika (National Cancer Control Programme) ;
  • Ariyaratne, May (National Cancer Institute) ;
  • Jayawardana, Pl (Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya)
  • Published : 2015.02.04


Background: Breast cancer is the commonest cancer among Sri Lankan females, accounting for 26% of the cancer incidence in women. Early detection of breast cancer is conducted by public health midwives (PHMs) in the Well Woman Clinics. The aim of the present study was to determine the effectiveness of an educational intervention on improving knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) on breast cancer screening among PHMs in the district of Gampaha. Materials and Methods: Two Medical Officer of Health (MOH) areas in Gampaha district were selected using random sampling as intervention (IG) and control (CG) groups. All the PHMs in the two MOH areas participated in the study, with totals of 38 in IG and 47 in CG. They were exposed to an educational intervention with the objective of using them to subsequently conduct the same among 35-59 year women in the community. Following the intervention, post-intervention assessments were conducted at one month and six months to assess the effectiveness of the intervention. Results: The overall median scores for KAP among PHMs respectively were as follows. Pre-intervention: IG:58%(IQR: 53-69%), 90%(IQR: 70-100%) and 62%(IQR: 57-70%). CG: 64%(IQR: 56-69%), 90%(IQR: 70-90%) and 62%( IQR: 50-77%). Post-intervention: one month, IG:96%(IQR: 93-96%), 100%(IQR: 100-100%), and 85%(IQR: 81-89%). CG:67%(IQR: 60- 73%), 90%(IQR: 80-100%) and 65%(IQR: 50-73%). Post-intervention: six months, IG: 93% (IQR: 91-93%), 100%(IQR: 90-100%), and 81%(IQR: 77-89%). CG: 67%(IQR: 58- 71%), 90%(IQR: 90-100%), and 62%( IQR: 58-73%). All the above post-intervention scores of PHMs in the IG were significantly higher in comparison to CG (p<0.001). Conclusions: This planned educational intervention had a significant impact on improving KAP of PHMs for early detection of breast cancer in the Gampaha district.


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