Development of a health promotion programme for breast cancer awareness for women with mild cognitive impairment

Recent studies of the population suggest trends that the number of people with an intellectual disability (ID) is increasing with a corresponding increase in the elderly demographic. Consequently this minority of society have been found to be naive to personal health care management and are at risk of failing to detect problems early. This is reflected in the number of these cases developing cancer, most notably this has been evident in breast cancer. Breast health has been identified as an important area of care for women with an intellectual disability however, knowledge and understanding of breast self-examination and screening is limited. Promotion of health information that is accessible to all patients, irrespective of their level of literacy or intellect is critical to combating this problem. Assisting these individuals will facilitate them to make informed choices and assume ownership of their health. In recent years, the use of technology has grown to be a valuable tool in educating individuals with intellectual disabilities, highlighting the potential benefit of using a technology-assisted tool for future breast health promotion and intervention.
This study aims to develop a technology-enhanced health promotion programme to elevate breast cancer awareness among women with a mild intellectual disability. Using the Intervention Mapping (IM) development process will be the methodological approach adopted to develop this programme. IM consists of 6 steps:
1. Needs assessment; 2. Definition of Proximal Programme Objectives (PPO); 3. Election of the theoretic methods and practical strategies;4. Programme design; 5. Implementation & Adoption; 6. Evaluation.
The group will then implement a technology-enhanced health promotion programme within the selected communities to enhance breast cancer awareness amongst women of intellectual disabilities. With the specific objective of promoting an environment for cancer awareness by improving the knowledge base in relation to breast cancer. The study will focus emphasis on the early recognition of symptoms, affirmative action by the individual and developing an improved collective understanding regarding the seeking-of-help and the means to do so.

Award Date
23 October 2015
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Ms Susan Walsh
Host Institution
University College Cork
Project Development Grants