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Glob Health Promot. 2018 Sep;25(3):52-59. doi: 10.1177/1757975916677174. Epub 2017 Feb 14.

The effect of women's breast cancer fear and social support perceptions on the process of participating in screening.

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1. Gaziosmanpa┼ča University, Faculty of Health Science, Tokat, Turkey.
2. Harran University Faculty of Health Science, Nursing Department, Urfa, Turkey.
3. Gaziosmanpa┼ča University, Erbaa Vocational School of Health Services, Turkey.



Social support and fear have been shown to be important factors affecting women's participation in breast cancer screening. This study aimed to determine the effect of women's perceived breast cancer fear and social support on participating in the breast cancer screening process, and to investigate the relationship between the perception of breast cancer fear and social support.


This is a descriptive study, carried out in a state hospital on 198 women. The data were collected through a Socio-Demographic Data Form, Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS), and Breast Cancer Fear Scale (BCFS) by the researchers by means of face-to-face interview.


There was no statistically significant difference between the women's perceptions of social support and breast cancer fear and screening behaviors ( p > 0.05). It was found that the mean BCFS score of those who had a family history of breast cancer was high, and the MSPSS score was lower ( p < 0.05). There was a quite weak and statistically insignificant positive relationship between the women's BCFS scores and perceived social support ( r = 0.08, p > 0.05), friend support ( r = 0.04, p > 0.05) and support from a special person ( r = 0.14, p > 0.05).


We found no statistically significant difference between breast cancer fear, social support and the women's screening behavior. However, breast cancer fear and the effect of social support on screening attitude may be important. Nurses and other health workers should particularly focus on social support and breast cancer fear in their health education programs. Formative research into the use of social support to promote positive empowering messages should be carried out and incorporated in future health promotion campaigns to improve the breast cancer screening process.


breast cancer screening; fear; social support

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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