Ziba Farajzadegan is a professor of community and preventive medicine, working in Isfahan Medical sciences of Iran.For several years, I involved in breast cancer issue from the different aspect of view. My research projects are focused on, supporting cares of the women with breast cancer. I tried to find gaps in our health system for caring for the patients,the spectrum of my projects is from emotional supports, coping style to forming of peer groups to support them. The helpfulness of some of our intervention confirmed in our social context. Also, I tried to include some subjective issues such as quality of life and spiritual health in patients care.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Iranian women. Breast cancer screening methods have led to earlier diagnosis and improvement in the survival of breast cancer patients. However, Iranian women with a family history of breast cancer are less likely to participate in breast cancer screening programs. In this study, we have evaluated the effectiveness of peer group based intervention in promoting breast cancer screening participation in women with a family history of breast cancer.
Method: Women with a family history of breast cancer who were 20 years or older and in pre-contemplation, contemplation, or relapse stage of breast cancer screening according to Trans Theoretical Model (TTM) were included. A computerized randomization was performed to allocate participants to the intervention or the control group. In order to prepare peer group leaders, an educational program was held for volunteer women by a health expert. Afterward, three sessions were held in three weeks for the intervention group. A questionnaire was filled out for participants in both groups at baseline, one and three months after the intervention.
Results: Overall 98 women completed the study. ANOVA showed one and three months after the intervention, women in the intervention group had a significantly higher level of knowledge, perceived sensitivity, perceived severity, health motivation, CBE and mammography benefits and lower barriers toward CBE and mammography.
Discussion: A structured intervention based on peer group can successfully improve participants’ Knowledge, beliefs, and participation in breast cancer screening programs in high-risk women for breast cancer.