An exploration of breast health awareness: uncovering experiences of Saudi women

Norah Abdullah Madkhali, Olinda Santin, Helen Noble, Joanne Reid

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Abstract

Background There is a high incidence of advanced breast cancer (BC) in young women in the Arab world (SCR, 2007; 2008), but no standardised information regarding breast self-examination, nor a national screening programme which promotes clinical breast examination and mammography (Donnelly and Hwang, 2013). Aim To explore breast health awareness and the early diagnosis and detection methods of BC from the perspective of women and primary health care providers (HCPs) in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Methods This qualitative study carried out in eight states across the Jizan region of KSA used purposive sampling to recruit women n= (24), GPs n= (20) and Nurses n= (20). Semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants from November 2015-February 2016. Inductive thematic analysis of data was undertaken (Braun & Clarke 2006), and Nvivo used to aid data management. Results The study reiterates, that there are no BC screening programmes available in KSA. Women reported poor knowledge about the impact of BC and the value of screening. Nurses felt poorly prepared to provide education and screening services to women, believing this to be the role of physicians. In addition to a lack of screening programs, time, workload and inappropriate facilities are reported barriers to providing education and screening services. Discussion Saudi women require knowledge of BC, early detection methods and related significance to health. HCPs should be actively engaged in providing education and screening services. This cannot be achieved if HCPs themselves do not realize the importance of engaging actively in this public health agenda and addressing the barriers for BC screening as a public health imperative. Conclusion National comprehensive policies are required to establish screening programmes and increase knowledge of BC. This study provides new evidence of experiences of breast health awareness, in an Arabic society where such topics remain taboo, and health services poorly developed. References Braun V. & Clarke V. (2006) Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology 3(2), 77–101 Donnelly TT, Hwang J. (2015) Breast cancer screening interventions for Arabic women: a literature review. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 17 (3), pp 925-939. Saudi Cancer Registry: Cancer Incidence Report Saudi Arabia 2008. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Ministry of Health, Saudi Cancer Registry. Available at: http://shc.gov.sa/Ar/HealthCenters/NCC/CancerRegistry/Pages/CancerRegistryRecords.aspx (Accessed: 03 Dec 2015). Saudi Cancer Registry: Cancer Incidence Report Saudi Arabia 2007. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Ministry of Health, Saudi Cancer Registry. Available at: http://shc.gov.sa/Ar/HealthCenters/NCC/CancerRegistry/Pages/CancerRegistryRecords.aspx (Accessed: 03 Dec 2015).
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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