JOURNAL ARTICLE

Factors associated with breast cancer screening intention in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal

Divya Bhandari, Akira Shibanuma, Junko Kiriya, Suzita Hirachan, Ken Ing Cherng Ong, Masamine Jimba
PloS One 2021, 16 (1): e0245856
33481894

BACKGROUND: Breast cancer burden is increasing in low-income countries (LICs). Increasing incidence and delayed presentation of breast cancer are mainly responsible for this burden. Many women do not participate in breast cancer screening despite its effectiveness. Moreover, studies are limited on the barriers associated with low utilization of breast cancer screening in LICs. This study identified breast cancer screening behavior and factors associated with breast cancer screening intention among women in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal.

METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 500 women living in five municipalities of Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. Data were collected from July to September 2018, using a structured questionnaire. Interviews were conducted among women selected through proportionate random household sampling. This study was conceptualized using the theory of planned behavior, fatalism, perceived susceptibility, and perceived severity. The outcome variables included: the intention to have mammography (MMG) biennially, the intention to have clinical breast examination (CBE) annually, and the intention to perform breast self-examination (BSE) monthly. Analysis was conducted separately for each outcome variable using partial proportional odds model.

RESULTS: Out of 500 women, 3.4% had undergone MMG biennially, 7.2% CBE annually, and 14.4% BSE monthly. Women with a positive attitude, high subjective norms, and high perceived behavioral control were more likely to have the intention to undergo all three screening methods. Similarly, women were more likely to have intention to undergo CBE and MMG when they perceived themselves susceptible to breast cancer. Conversely, women were less likely to have intention to undergo CBE when they had high fatalistic beliefs towards breast cancer.

CONCLUSION: Women in this study had poor screening behavior. The practice of breast self-examination was comparatively higher than clinical breast examination and mammography. Multidimensional culturally sensitive interventions are needed to enhance screening intentions. Efforts should be directed to improve attitude, family support, and fatalistic belief towards cancer. Furthermore, the proper availability of screening methods should be ensured while encouraging women to screen before the appearance of symptoms.

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