Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Nursing (M.S.N.)

Degree Program

College of Nursing

First Advisor

Patricia W. Underwood

Second Advisor

Katherine Kim

Third Advisor

Carolyn Shapiro


A descriptive, correlational design was used to examine the relationship between the Health Belief Model (HBM) variables and breast self-examination (BSE) in a registered nurse population. Champion's HBM Scale (1987) was mailed to a random sample of RN's in one midwestern county (N = 107). Construct validity for the instrument was established by Champion and alpha reliability rating for subscales ranged from.73-.96 in this study. The primarily Caucasian, ADN and diploma educated sample varied in age from 20 to over 60 years (median age = 41-50).; Less than half (48%) of the subjects reported monthly BSE. A stepwise multiple regression analysis was performed on the HBM variables of susceptibility, seriousness, benefits, barriers, health motivation, and control. A significant portion of the variance in BSE (19%) was explained by motivation and barriers. Other variables did not enter the equation. Older nurses (51 years and older) were more motivated to perform BSE (t = 3.2, p =.002).; Additionally, nurses who had friends or family members with cancer felt they were more susceptible to getting cancer but did not significantly increase their performance of BSE. This research supports previous findings which identifies the barriers variable as consistently significant. Health motivation was also significant and has implications for the education and implementation of BSE.


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