Beliefs, Attitudes, and Behavior of Turkish Women about Breast Cancer and Breast Self-Examination According to a Turkish Version of the Champion Health Belief Model Scale

  • Erbil, Nulufer (Department of Nursing, School of Health, Ordu University) ;
  • Bolukbas, Nurgul (Department of Nursing, School of Health, Ordu University)
  • Published : 2012.11.30


Background: Breast cancer (BC) is one of the most common cancer affecting women worldwide. Although a great deal of progress has been made in the health sciences, early diagnosis, and increasing community awareness, breast cancer remains a life-threatening illness. In order to reduce this threat, breast cancer screening needs to be implemented in all communities where possible. Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine health beliefs, attitudes and behaviors about breast cancer and breast self-examination of Turkish women. Methods: Data were collected from a sample of 656 women, using an adapted Turkish version of Champion's Health Belief Model Scale (CHBMS), between January and May 2011, in Ordu province of Turkey. Results: The results showed that 67.7% of women had knowledge about and 55.8% performed BSE, however 60.6% of those who indicated they practiced BSE reported they did so at irregular intervals. CHBMS subscales scores of women according to women's age, education level, occupation, family income and education level of the women's mothers, family history of breast cancer, friend and an acquaintance with breast cancer, knowledge about breast cancer, BSE and mammography were significantly different. Conclusion: Knowledge of women about the risks and benefits of early detection of breast cancer positively affect their health beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. Health care professionals can develop effective breast health programs and can help women to gain good health behavior and to maintain health.


  1. Al-Naggar RA, Al-Naggar DH, Bobryshev YV, et al (2011). Practice and barriers toward breast self examination among young malaysian women. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 12, 1173-8.
  2. American Cancer Society, Retrieved September 20, 2012, http://www.cancer. org/acs/ groups /cid /documents/webcontent/003165-pdf.pdf.
  3. Coskun Gİ, Tetik A, Gonener HD (2007). Determination of women's knowledge, attitude and behaviours about the self examination of breast. Gaziantep Med J, 113, 55-0.
  4. Chauhan A, Subba SH, Menezes RG, et al (2011). Younger women are affected by breast cancer in South India -A hospital-based descriptive study. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 12, 709-11.
  5. Demirkiran F, Ozgun H, Eskin M, et al (2011). Cognition of breast cancer among gestational age Turkish women: a cross-sectional study. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 12, 277-82.
  6. Ekici E, Utkualp N (2007). Women instructors behaviors towards breast cancer. J Breast Hlth, 3, 136-9.
  7. Erbay DP, Ozmen D, Ozturk B, et al (2006).The knowledge and attitudes of breast self-examination and mammography in a group of women in a rural area in western Turkey. BMC Cancer, 6, 43.
  8. Eti Aslan F, Gurkan A (2007). The risk of breast cencer at the women. J Breast Hlth, 3, 63-8.
  9. Fry RB, Prentice-Dunn S (2006). Effects of a psychosocial intervention on breast self-examination attitudes and behaviors. Hlth Educ Res, 2, 287-95.
  10. Gercek S, Duran O, Yildirim G, et al (2008). Determining the breast cancer and self breast examination belief and the effecting factors among the school girls in state dormitory. J Breast Hlth, 4, 157-61.
  11. Jamal A, Bray F, Center MM, et al (2011). Global cancer statistics. CA Cancer J Clin, 62, 69-90.
  12. Jarvandi S, Montazeri A, Harirchi I, Kazemnejad A (2002). Beliefs and behaviours of Iranian teachers towards early detection of breast cancer and breast self examination. Public Hlth, 116, 245-9.
  13. Karayurt O, Dramali A (2007). Adaptation of Champion's health belief model scale for Turkish women and evaluation of the selected variables associated with breast self-examination. Cancer Nurs, 30, 69-77.
  14. Karayurt O, Zorukos SN (2008). Feel of women at a high risk for breast cancer and meeting, their needs for knowledge and support. J Breast Hlth, 4, 56-61.
  15. Kosgeroglu A, Ayranci U, Ozerdogan N, et al (2011). Knowledge of women on early diagnosis methods and risk factors for breast cancer in a province of Western Turkey: a descriptive study. Pak J Med Sci, 27, 646-50.
  16. Kum S, Goksu UA, Kelkitli E, et al (2004). Frequency of breast self-examination and related factors in Central Black Sea Region. Turkish J Oncology, 19, 24-7.
  17. Ministry of Health (2005). The most frequent ten cancer in females in Turkey. Retrieved May 18, 2010, from
  18. Nahcivan N, Secginli S (2003). Attitudes and behaviors toward breast cancer early detection: using the health belief model as a guide. J Cumhuriyet University School of Nur, 7, 33-8.
  19. Ozmen V (2011). Breast cancer screening: current controversies. J Breast Hlth, 7, 1-4.
  20. Phillips JM, Wilbur J (1995). Adherence to breast cancer screening guidelines among African-American women of differing employment status. Cancer Nurs, 18, 258-69.
  21. Salazar MK (1994). Breast self-examination beliefs: A descriptive study. Public Hlth Nurs, 11, 49-56.
  22. Yilmaz M, Guler G, Bekar M, Guler N (2011). Risk of breast cancer, health beliefs and screening behaviour among Turkish academic women and housewives. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 12, 817-22.

Cited by

  1. Compliance with Screening Recommendations According to Breast Cancer Risk Levels in Izmir, Turkey vol.14, pp.3, 2013,
  2. Health Beliefs and Breast Self-Examination among Female University Nursing Students in Turkey vol.15, pp.16, 2014,
  3. Effectiveness of Online Education in Teaching Breast Self-Examination vol.15, pp.7, 2014,
  4. Screening Behaviors, Health Beliefs, and Related Factors of First-Degree Relatives of Colorectal Cancer Patients With Ongoing Treatment in Turkey vol.37, pp.6, 2014,
  5. Assessment of the Effects of Breast Cancer Training on Women Between the Ages of 50 and 70 in Kemalpasa, Turkey vol.15, pp.24, 2015,
  6. Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Using the Gail Model: a Turkish Study vol.16, pp.1, 2015,
  7. Poor Knowledge and Practice Towards Breast Cancer among Women in Baghdad City, Iraq vol.16, pp.15, 2015,
  8. Assessment of Breast Cancer Risk and Belief in Breast Cancer Screening Among the Primary Healthcare Nurses vol.31, pp.3, 2016,
  9. Beyond a Paycheck: The Influence of Workforce Participation on Women’s Cancer Screening in Turkey vol.75, pp.11-12, 2016,
  10. Interventions Promoting Breast Cancer Screening Among Turkish Women With Global Implications: A Systematic Review vol.14, pp.4, 2017,