Women's help seeking behaviour and the associated influencing factors on self discovery of a breast symptom

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dc.contributor.advisor Hegarty, Josephine
dc.contributor.author Ní Mháthuna, Máirín
dc.date.accessioned 2013-01-17T10:13:27Z
dc.date.available 2015-01-17T05:00:05Z
dc.date.issued 2011-11
dc.date.submitted 2011
dc.identifier.citation Ní Mhathúna, M. 2011. Women's help seeking behaviour and the associated influencing factors on self discovery of a breast symptom. PhD Thesis, University College Cork. en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10468/892
dc.description.abstract To investigate women’s help seeking behavior (HSB) following self discovery of a breast symptom and determine the associated influencing factors. A descriptive correlation design was used to ascertain the help seeking behavior (HSB) and the associated influencing factors of a sample of women (n = 449) with self discovered breast symptoms. The study was guided by the ‘Help Seeking Behaviour and Influencing Factors” conceptual framework (Facione et al., 2002; Meechan et al., 2003, 2002; Leventhal, Brissette and Leventhal, 2003 and O’Mahony and Hegarty, 2009b). Data was collected using a researcher developed multi-scale questionnaire package to ascertain women’s help seeking behavior on self discovery of a breast symptom and determine the factors most associated with HSB. Factors examined include: socio-demographics, knowledge and beliefs (regarding breast symptom; breast changes associated with breast cancer; use of alternative help seeking behaviours and presence or absence of a family history of breast cancer),emotional responses, social factors, health seeking habits and health service system utilization and help seeking behavior. A convenience sample (n = 449 was obtained by the researcher from amongst women attending the breast clinics of two large urban hospitals within the Republic of Ireland. All participants had self-discovered breast symptoms and no previous history of breast cancer. The study identified that while the majority of women (69.9%; n=314) sought help within one month, 30.1% (n=135) delayed help seeking for more than one month following self discovery of their breast symptom. The factors most significantly associated with HSB were the presenting symptom of ‘nipple indrawn/changes’ (p = 0.005), ‘ignoring the symptom and hoping it would go away’ (p < 0.001), the emotional response of being ‘afraid@ on symptom discovery (p = 0.005) and the perception/belief in longer symptom duration (p = 0.023). It was found that women who presented with an indrawn/changed nipple were more likely to delay (OR = 4.81) as were women who ‘ignored the symptoms and hoped it would go away’ (OR = 10.717). Additionally, the longer women perceived that their symptom would last, they more likely they were to delay (OR = 1.18). Conversely, being afraid following symptom discovery was associated with less delay (OR = 0.37; p=0.005). This study provides further insight into the HSB of women who self discovered breast symptoms. It highlights the complexity of the help seeking process, indicating that is not a linear event but is influenced by multiple factors which can have a significant impact on the outcomes in terms of whether women delay or seek help promptly. The study further demonstrates that delayed HSB persists amongst women with self discovered breast symptoms. This has important implications for continued emphasis on the promotion of breast awareness, prompt help seeking for self discovered breast symptoms and early detection and treatment of breast cancer, amongst women of all ages. en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher University College Cork en
dc.relation.uri http://library.ucc.ie/record=b2031138~S0
dc.rights © 2011, Máirín Ní Mháthuna en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ en
dc.subject Self-discovered breast symptom en
dc.subject Help seeking behaviour en
dc.subject Socio-demographics en
dc.subject Emotional response en
dc.subject Knowledge and beliefs en
dc.subject Social factors en
dc.subject.lcsh Breast--Cancer--Patients en
dc.subject.lcsh Breast--Cancer--Psychological aspects en
dc.title Women's help seeking behaviour and the associated influencing factors on self discovery of a breast symptom en
dc.type Doctoral thesis en
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral en
dc.type.qualificationname PhD (Nursing) en
dc.internal.availability Full text not available en
dc.check.info The full text of this thesis is currently unavailable due to a restriction requested by the author. The entire thesis will be available for download from 17 January 2015 en
dc.description.version Accepted Version en
dc.description.status Not peer reviewed en
dc.internal.school Nursing and Midwifery en


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