Increasing breast cancer awareness in Tameside and Glossip: Evaluation report
Summary of findings
· Most of the post survey respondents had some knowledge and understanding of what it means to be breast aware. Although most of the women associated it with self-examination and no respondents mentioned the other behaviours encapsulated in the five-point code (i.e. seeking medical advice or attending for breast screening), most women who had spotted changes sought medical advice and most women who had been invited for breast screening had attended.
· Disappointingly, following the campaign the proportion of respondents who reported examining their breasts at least once a month (as recommended by the NHS) fell in the intervention area. However, most of the women interviewed (9 out of the 11) said they checked their breasts at least once a month.
· Encouragingly more respondents in both areas said that being breast aware was about looking for lumps and other changes (22.5%) as compared to just lumps (11.2%). This suggests an increased awareness of the range of breast cancer symptoms to look out for.
· The key reasons cited by women for not examining more regularly were that they forgot or they never thought about it. Fewer women in the post survey said it was because they were ‘not sure what to look for’ or were ‘not sure how to check properly’, suggesting an increased knowledge of the changes to look for and how to check.
· GP staff were still considered key figures for disseminating the breast awareness message and both areas saw an increase in the number of women offered advice on breast awareness by their GP or Practice Nurse.
· 40% of respondents in Ashton Hurst had seen, heard or received something about breast awareness during the campaign period, compared to 31.5% in the comparison area. Of these, a higher percentage of respondents in the intervention area than in the comparison area said the information made them clearer about what is normal for them and what changes to look for.
· Feedback from the community development team indicated that the campaign had increased local women’s knowledge and prompted other positive health behaviours (e.g. uptake of exercise activities, like health walks and keep ft classes, picked up in the weeks following the campaign and breast aware event).
To assess any changes in knowledge and behaviour, pre and post face-to-face street surveys were conducted with women aged between 35 and 50 in the intervention area of Ashton Hurst and the comparison area of South Denton.
In 2007, ten learning demonstration sites were set up by the National Social Marketing Centre with funding from the Department of Health. The aim of which was to help local areas apply and integrate social marketing into their programmes and strategies, whilst helping to develop a robust evidence base for social marketing. The learning demonstration sites are also a key component of the Department of Health’s ‘Ambitions for Health’ strategic framework to build capacity and skills in applying social marketing principles to health interventions.
The learning demonstration sites were based in Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) and local authorities across the country and addressed a wide range of health issues.
The Tameside and Glossip breast cancer pilot project was one of the demonstration sites selected for the programme. The behavioural goals of the project were for women aged 35 to 50 in Ashton Hurst to be aware of their breasts and to examine them regularly. This involved increasing women’s knowledge of the changes to look for and their confidence in spotting these changes.
A mix of communication, community-based and service-led initiatives were piloted between February and April 2010 in Ashton Hurst, which is one of the most deprived communities in the PCT and has particularly low breast cancer survival rates.
For evaluation purposes, South Denton was selected as a comparison area, since it has a similar age structure, deprivation and rural/urban mix.
The Tameside and Glossip breast cancer pilot project was one of ten learning demonstration sites, set up by the National Social Marketing Centre with funding from DH, to build capacity and skills in applying social marketing principles to health interventions. The report outlines the findings of an evaluation study to measure behavioural and knowledge changes regarding breast cancer amongst the target audience.
· Key stakeholders who were involved in the scoping, development and implementation of the campaign.
· Women who attended the community event to gather qualitative feedback on the interventions
· Women aged between 35 and 50 in the intervention area of Ashton Hurst and the comparison area of South Denton.
Mainly women aged 35-50 years old
The evaluation was independently carried out by the LSHTM and consisted of three components:
· To assess any changes in knowledge and behaviour, a case-control study comprising of face-to-face street surveys was conducted with women aged 35 to 50 in Ashton Hurst and South Denton. Around 100 women were surveyed in both wards before (April to June 2009) and after (June to July 2010) the campaign.
· Following the campaign, eight face-to-face interviews were conducted with stakeholders who were involved in the scoping, development and implementation of the campaign.
· Eleven telephone interviews were conducted with women who attended the community event in Ashton Hurst to gather qualitative feedback on the interventions.
Data collection methodology
· 8 Key stakeholders
· Pre survey questionnaire: A total of 185 completed questionnaires was collected; 97 in Ashton Hurst and 88 in South Denton
· Post survey questionnaire: A total of 162 completed questionnaires were collected;89 in Ashton Hurst and 73 in South Denton
· Eleven women who had attended the community event partook in the telephone interviews
Tameside and Glossip
April to June 2009 and June to July 2010