Background: We conducted the present study to assess the practice of breast self-examination (BSE) among Debre Tabor University female undergraduate students, north central Ethiopia using health belief model (HBM).
Method: The current institution based cross-sectional study was carried out among a total of 341 students. Simple random sampling technique was employed to select the study participants. We also used self-administered pretested questionnaires and constructs of health belief model for collecting data. Binary and multivariable logistic regression were utilized to identify BSE-associated factors. Statistical significance was stated at p value < 0.05.
Results: Approximately 45% of the participants had a fair level of knowledge about breast cancer, but only 17% were actually performing BSE practice. The odds of practicing BSE were found to be higher among the participants who had information about BSE practice (AOR=7.21, 95% CI: (2.46, 21.15)), perceived susceptibility (AOR=14.18, 95% CI:(4.00, 50.48)), self-efficacy (AOR=3.07, 95% CI: (1.09, 8.70)), cue to action (AOR=3.68,95% CI: (1.17, 11.56)), and net benefit (AOR=7.75, 95% CI: (1.56, 38.55)) compared with counterparts. Whereas the odds of practicing BSE were found to be lower among those who had poor knowledge of BC (AOR=0.08, 95% CI: (0.03, 0.23)) compared with counterparts.
Conclusion: In this study, knowledge regarding breast cancer and BSE practice was observed to be low. Knowledge about breast cancer, having information on BSE, perceived susceptibility, self-confidence, and cue to action were found to be independent predictors of BSE practice. Providing targeted information about BSE is the best method of changing the behavioral intention of university students about breast cancer and BSE practice.