Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Master of Health Science


School of Nursing


Faculty of Communications, Health and Science

First Supervisor

Dr Anne McMurray

Second Supervisor

Claudette Kelly


This study addresses the issue of breast self-examination (BSE) in female nurses, as nurses who perform BSE are more likely to promote BSE to their clients. The purpose of the study is twofold: first, to assess the effects of three alternative methods of BSE instruction on nurses’ BSE practice; and second, to determine the influence of nurses’ health beliefs on their practice of BSE. Previous studies have indicated that various teaching strategies have improved BSE practice. However, the three methods of BSE instruction to be assessed on this study which includes booklet with written instruction, film and group discussion, and to one-to-one discussion, modelling and rehearsal have not been previously researched collectively in a single day. The study is guided by the Health Belief Model (HBM) which attempts to explain preventative health behaviour in terms of attitudes, values and beliefs. The following hypotheses have been formulated for investigation: (a) there will be a significant difference in the effectiveness of BSE practice in the experimental groups at follow-up twelve weeks post intervention; and (b) the health belief scores of nurses who do practise BSE will be higher than the health belief scores of nurses who do not practise BSE.

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