Knowledge and perception of breast cancer and its treatment among Malaysian women: Role of religion
Purpose: To investigate the association between religiosity, perceptions, and knowledge of breast cancer and its treatment among women in Malaysia.
Methods: Knowledge and perceptions of breast cancer and its treatment were determined via a questionnaire adapted from previous studies. The Duke Religion Index was used to measure participants’ religiosity. The questionnaires were distributed among women in public areas in Kuala Lumpur.
Results: A total of 384 women participated in this study. Non-organisational religious activity (NORA; r = -0.113, p < 0.05) and intrinsic religiosity (IR; r = -0.183, p < 0.01) were significantly negatively correlated with knowledge of breast cancer. NORA (r = 0.115, p < 0.05) and IR (r = 0.229, p < 0.01) were positively, significantly correlated with the perception that patients who underwent treatment for breast cancer can enjoy good quality of life. There was also a significant positive correlation between NORA (r = 0.175, p < 0.05) and IR (r = 0.249, p < 0.01) on the statement that spiritual support improves treatment for breast cancer. IR was the only subscale positively, significantly associated with the perception of choosing breast-conserving surgery as a primary treatment choice (r = -0.111, p < 0.05) and dietary therapies (r = 0.126, p < 0.05) or acupuncture (r = 0.120, p < 0.05) as alternative treatments for breast cancer.
Conclusion: Religiosity should be considered in improving women’s knowledge and perceptions of breast cancer and its treatment.
Keywords: Breast cancer, Knowledge, Perceptions, Religiosity
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