Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide. Breast cancer incidence is increasing both in developed and developing regions. Regular breast self-examination (BSE) is one of the most cost effective methods for early detection of breast cancer in asymptomatic women. The aim of this study is to assess the magnitude of BSE practice and its associated factors among female health professionals working in public health facilities in Western Ethiopia. The study applied is health facility based cross-sectional study design. Simple random sampling technique was used to recruit a total of 390 female health professionals. The study was conducted from January to March, 2015. Bivariate and multivariable logistic regression model was used, odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals were computed and significance of all tests was decided at p-value of 0.05. From the total respondents, 77% had ever practiced BSE and only one third (33.7%) of them practiced regularly. Not experiencing breast problem (12.7%) was the main reason for not practicing regular BSE. After adjusting for possible confounders; personal history of breast cancer (AOR=4.7, 95%CI: 1.32-17.07), having knowledge of BSE (AOR=4.1, 95%CI: 1.36-5.65), positive attitude (AOR, 3.8, 95%CI: 2.10-9.17) and ever taught BSE to a client (AOR=5.2, 95%CI: 2.35-8.14) were found to be statistically significant predictors of BSE. Even though the life time BSE practice in this study was high, the regular BSE practice was low. Thus, trainings on BSE practice will be important to improve the practice level of health professionals and their counseling skill for the clients.
Key words: Breast self-examination, health professionals, practice, females.
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