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Open Access Research article

Community-based intervention to promote breast cancer awareness and screening: The Korean experience

Keeho Park1*, Woi Hyun Hong2, Su Yeon Kye1, Euichul Jung3, Myung-hyun Kim1 and Hyeong Geun Park1

Author Affiliations

1 Cancer Information and Education Branch, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Republic of Korea

2 School of Nursing Science, Kyungnam University, Masan, Republic of Korea

3 School of Journalism, Media and Advertising, Sangji University, Wonju, Republic of Korea

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BMC Public Health 2011, 11:468  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-468

Published: 14 June 2011



There are many differences in culture, community identity, community participation, and ownership between communities in Western and Asian countries; thus, it is difficult to adopt the results of community intervention studies from Western countries. In this study, we conducted a multicity, multicomponent community intervention trial to correct breast cancer myths and promote screening mammography for women living in an urban community in Korea.


A 6-month, 2-city community intervention trial was conducted. In the intervention city, 480 women were surveyed at baseline and 7 months later to evaluate the effects of the intervention program. Strategies implemented in the intervention city included community outreach and clinic and pharmacy-based in-reach strategies.


This study showed a 20.4-percentage-point decrease in myths about the link between cancer and breast size, a 19.2-percentage-point decrease in myths concerning mammography costs, and a 14.1-percentage-point increase in intention to undergo screening mammography. We also saw a 23.4-percentage-point increase in the proportion of women at the action stage of the transtheoretical model in the intervention city. In the comparison city, smaller decreases and increases were observed.


Our study showed the value of an intervention study aimed at reducing belief in breast cancer myths in an urban community in Korea. The invention also made women more likely to undergo mammography in future.