Breast cancer prevention: Health literacy among women living in the multicultural community of southern Thailand

Breast cancer is now a public health global concern as it has become the most common cancer diagnosed among women. Insufficient knowledge about breast cancer prevention and screening are common causes of breast cancer development. This paper examines the health literacy related to breast cancer and prevention among women living in the multicultural community of southern Thailand. 410 participants were selected through a stratified random sampling method. The data was analyzed using descriptive (percentage, mean and standard deviation) and inferential statistics (ordinal logistic regression: multivariate). It showed that the overall health literacy level of breast cancer was low. There was about one-third of participants indicated adequate health literacy about breast cancer (33.7%). 47 women (18.3 %) had limited health literacy whereas 64 (15.6%) had desirable health literacy. The mean and standard deviation of the overall scores of breast cancer health literacy were 84.3 (13.2) out of 100 %. Breast cancer prevention practice illustrated poor outcomes (68.0%). Factors related to health literacy about breast cancer included religion, occupation, history of a breast abnormality, and level of practicing breast cancer prevention. The findings suggested that sufficient health literacy about breast cancer prevention is a critical health promotion approach that can assist health care providers to promote and strengthen better knowledge among at risk group of women in southern Thailand.

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