Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name





Psychology, Behavioral.


Frisch, G. R.




Breast self-examination (BSE) is an effective way to discover breast cancer early. Unfortunately only 14 to 40% of women perform BSE monthly. The Health Belief Model (HBM) presents seven factors considered to influence health behaviour. The Stage of change research focuses on the processes involved in changing a negative behaviour or acquiring a desired one. This study created an algorithm to classify each woman into one of five stages based on past performance and intent to perform BSE. The aim was to create a better method of predicting BSE behaviour, and current readiness to initiate monthly BSE, by combining health beliefs and Stage. Two hundred forty-four women, aged 20 to 65, filled out a questionnaire assessing health beliefs, knowledge of breast cancer and BSE, and frequency of BSE. In general, the factor structure of the HBM was supported. The Stage of change gradient from disinterest in BSE to monthly performance was found along with the appropriate changes in health beliefs over the stages. The Stage variable was strongly related to both a general measure of BSE behaviour and intent to perform BSE next year. Support was also provided for the ability to accurately predict the amount of variation, and the point it occurs in the change process, in measures of the benefits and barriers to BSE. The results indicate that a combination of three HBM factors (representing perception of barriers to BSE, the benefits of BSE, and confidence in one's ability to perform BSE accurately), and Stage, can provide the information necessary to predict a woman's BSE performance and focus on what element(s) of her beliefs should be influenced in order to promote movement along the stages.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1994 .C69. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 56-11, Section: B, page: 6373. Adviser: G. Ron Frisch. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1994.