Tuesday, November 6, 2007

This presentation is part of : Innovative Clinical Strategies
Nurses' Practice and Teaching of Breast Self Examination
James P. Humphrey, RN, MSN, PhD, College of Nursing, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA, USA
Learning Objective #1: apply research knowledge of breast self examination practice and teaching by nurses to clinical practice and education.
Learning Objective #2: determine strategies for assisting nurses to be more conscious of practicing and teaching breast self examination techniques as an important health promotion activity.

Breast cancer continues to be of great concern to women and their families.  Early
detection is essential to breast cancer recovery.  Nurses have a responsibility to educate
women about the detection of breast cancer, risk factors associated with breast cancer,
treatment, and recovery.  The purposes of this descriptive correlational study, framed by
Pender's health promotion model, were to detect any inconsistency with the practice of
breast self examination (BSE) by nurses and their education of patients regarding BSE
and to identify factors hindering the practice and education of BSE by nurses.

Four research questions were developed to address the purposes of the study.  The
purposive sample consisted of 179 registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and licensed
practical nurses, employed in a rural hospital located in southeast Georgia and by the
local southeast district health offices, who agreed to participate.  The Breast Self-
Examination Questionnaire developed by Budden (1995) was the primary instrument
used to collect data.

While 92% of the participants indicated they practice BSE, 48% stated they do so on a
monthly basis.  The results indicated the majority of nurses participating in the study
viewed BSE as a valuable means of early detection of breast cancer, but only 56% stated
they teach their patients how to correctly perform BSE as well.  Forgetfulness prevailed
as the major factor hindering these nurses from practicing BSE monthly, while "other
priorities of care" was stated as the major reason for not teaching BSE to their patients.  
Patient teaching is a vital part of the nurse's role.  This activity is one of the many areas
that can change a person's life just by a few minutes of the nurse's time to instruct
patients on how to correctly perform BSE.