Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Health Science (Hons.)


School of Nursing

First Advisor

Judith Davis

Second Advisor

Dr Barry Sheridan


Breast cancer is the most frequently occurring cancer in females in Western Australia (W.A.). Despite technological advances the death rate from breast cancer is not decreasing. With the hope of reducing the mortality rates, preventative measures are being encouraged for the early detection of breast cancer. The Cancer Foundation of W.A. promote the performance of Breast Self Examination (BSE) on a monthly basis. The purpose of this study is to determine the frequency of BSE practice amongst nurses and the incidence of nurses teaching BSE to patients. The Health Belief Model (HBM) is used as a theoretical framework. This model attempts to explain preventative health behaviour in terms of the combination and interaction of differing attitudes. The basis for this research is in relation to two concepts of the HBM; perceived susceptibility to breast cancer and perceived benefits of BSE. The following hypotheses were formulated for investigation in this study: I) Nurses who practice BSE will perceive themselves to be more susceptible to breast cancer, and will perceive greater benefits of BSE than nurses who do not practice BSE; 2) nurses who practice BSE will teach this preventative measure to patients more frequently; and 3) oncology nurses will demonstrate a greater frequency in personal practice of BSE than maternity or surgical nurses.

Included in

Nursing Commons