Background: Early detection of breast cancer plays an important role in decreasing its morbidity and mortality. Health extension workers (HEWs) are the main actors to implement health extension packages and to provide primary healthcare services at community level in Ethiopia. Thus, if BSE is integrated with these packages, deaths from breast cancer can be averted by early detection and treatment. However, practice of the health extension workers on breast cancer and BSE is not known yet in Ethiopia. The study aimed to assess the Practice of Health extension workers on Breast Self-Examination and its associated factors in Wolayta Zone.
Methods: A cross-sectional study conducted at Wolayta zone from 05/15/2017 to 06/01/2017. Simple random sampling technique used having sampling frame of all health extension workers, in Wolayta. A total of 281 health extension worker participated in the study. Data entered into Epi-info version 3.4.3, and exported to SPSS version 21 for analysis. Among the candidates, independent variables with a P-value <0.05 entered in the final model and having a dependent variable classified into dichotomous, a binary logistic regression model done to identify predictors of BSE practice among respondents.
Results: Among a total of 281 HEW, 128 (45.6%) of respondents were ever practiced breast self-examination while the remaining 153 (54.4%) had never practiced BSE. HEW perceived BSE practice beneficiary had 3 times higher breast self-examination practice for AOR and 95% CI of (1.5-6.5). HEW with “high” and “low” level of perception for breast cancer had higher breast self-examination practice for AOR and 95% CI of [(5.0(2.0-10.5), 3.0(2.8-8.0)] respectively. Respondents were 3 times more likely to practice breast self-examination when there was Support on BSE from spouse/partner for AOR and 95% CI of (1.5-8.75).
Conclusions: The prevalence of breast self-examination practice among HEW in Wolaita Zone was low implicating a great negative impact on early detection of breast cancer and breast problems. Moreover, giving training on the techniques of breast self-examination for health extension workers is the way of reaching the wider community and the best opportunity to tackle the problem at wider perspective.