Knowledge and perception of breast cancer and its treatment among Malaysian women: Role of religion

  • Noraida Mohamed Shah
  • Billy Lim Tzyy Nan
  • Nies Yong Hui
  • Farida Hanim Islahudin
  • Ernieda Mhd Hatah
Keywords: Breast cancer, Knowledge, Perceptions, Religiosity

Abstract

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

Published
2017-05-05
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 1596-9827
print ISSN: 1596-5996