KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICE OF BREAST SELF EXAMINATION AMONG FEMALE SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN OWERRI EDUCATION ZONE 2, IMO STATE

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KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICE OF BREAST SELF EXAMINATION AMONG FEMALE SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN OWERRI EDUCATION ZONE 2, IMO STATE

KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICE OF BREAST SELF EXAMINATION AMONG FEMALE SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN OWERRI EDUCATION ZONE 2, IMO STATE

Prof. E.J Ibeagha & Lilian Chiemela Oparaocha
Department of Human Kinetics and Health Education
Faculty of Education,
Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka

ABSTRACT

A large number of women in Imo State struggling to survive breast cancer pass through secondary school and are probably unaware of this deadly disease. Early detection of breast cancer through breast self-examination from the secondary school level would have prevented the situation of going to hospital lately. This prompted the investigation into knowledge and practice of Breast Self Examination among female secondary school students in Owerri Education Zone 2 of Imo state. Four research questions guided the study and four null hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance. Descriptive survey research design was adopted for the study. The population of the study comprised 5,065 students in public secondary schools in Owerri Education Zone 2 of Imo state. A sample size of 814 students was drawn for the study using stratified random sampling technique. A-researcher developed instruments titled ‘‘Knowledge of Breast Self Examination Scale (KBSES)’’ and Breast Self Examination Practices Questionnaire (BSEPQ) were used for data collection. The instruments were subjected to face and content validation by three experts, two from the Department of Human Kinetic and Health Education, and one from the Department of Educational Foundations, Nnamdi Azikiwe University. Cronbach alpha was used for a test of internal consistency of the instrument and it yielded overall reliability co-efficients of 0.91 for KBSES and 0.86 for BSEPQ. Mean and standard deviation were used to answer the research questions and t-test was used to test the hypotheses. The findings of the study revealed among others that rural and urban female secondary school students possessed low knowledge of circle and lines methods of breast self-examination in Owerri Education Zone 2 of Imo State. It was also observed that circle and lines methods of breast self-examination are rarely practiced among rural and urban female secondary school students in Owerri Education Zone 2 of Imo State. Based on the findings, it was recommended among others that the principals should integrate breast self‑examination methods and practices into orientation programmes of newly admitted female students to enable them acquire early knowledge of procedures of conducting it.

Keywords: Knowledge, Practice, Breast Self Examination, Female Students

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