“Fostering Early Breast Cancer Detection” Article

In their article “Fostering early breast cancer detection,” Shackelford, Weyhenmeyer, and Mabus (2014) raise a rather important and relevant problem related to breast cancer, in particular, its early detection. The very title of the article highlights the key concepts, including faith community nurses (FCNs) and at-risk populations. The abstract provides a brief overview of the methods that helped in fostering early breast cancer detection, thus showing a reader the scope of the article and helping to decide whether the article is of interest for a reader or not.

The problem is clearly stated at the beginning of the article and, most importantly, is backed by the evidence. Based on the literature review of credible resources, the authors claim that African American women and those who live in rural areas are at potentially higher risk that proves the practical significance of the problem. The article involves various sources that are properly cited and directly related to the topic of the research. For example, the current peer-reviewed articles by Fair, Monahan, Russell, Zhao, and Champion (2012) as well as by DeSantis, Naishadham, and Jemal (2013) are noted. Besides, the literature review embraces the recent statistical data that can be evaluated as sufficient for this article. The significance of the article to the modern nursing is emphasized by Mayer (2015) who argues that “because FCNs often have a personal and long-term relationship with congregants by working directly within these communities, they are in a unique position to encourage medical screenings, promote wellness, and facilitate early treatment” (p. 136). No evidence of bias is detected.

The purpose of the study is to examine the intervention that implies preventive and screening procedures initiated by FCNs in relation to women from the nine counties of Illinois. In this regard, the hypothesis to be either confirmed or rejected is that FCNs can enhance timely breast cancer recognition through holistic and patient-centred care. The key terms are identified and presented in an appropriate manner, including FCNs education, social activities and events, identification of community and church leaders, etc.

No theoretical framework is employed by Shackelford et al. (2014) as the article focuses on the reflection of impacts of the intervention. In many health care researches, there is no need to use a framework (Kaplan, 2012). Nonetheless, the methods of the study are clearly pointed out and involve the FCN program accepted in the Department of Continuing Education at St. John’s College. In particular, grant money was allocated to educational materials and other necessary issues to prepare FCNs. This original study uses qualitative study methodology, collecting data and interpreting it to verify the hypothesis. The strength of the article is that the selected methodology completely corresponds to its purpose.

Speaking of sample data, it is possible to note that exclusion and inclusion criteria are not clearly stated by the authors, yet a reader may understand that women from underserved populations compose the target audience of 586 participants of different age and ethnicity. The method of random sampling is used to conduct an experiment in which the researchers did not change the environment yet add supplementary elements such as interventions that were mentioned earlier in this paper. The statistical procedure of survey was used to collect and structure respondents’ answers. The test value and level of significance are not identified in the article. The ethical considerations regarding recruitment and group assignment are not disclosed. The independent variables are properly described and also presented in the form of tables and figures, promoting their visibility.

In order to provide a reader with valuable insights on breast cancer detection, the authors present results and the subsequent discussion, stating that FCNs social activity proved to be crucial for early breast cancer recognition in the identified at-risk populations. The data is analyzed according to the qualitative method of analysis based on survey answers. After attending 33 educational sessions, 50 percent of respondents answered that they would start monthly Breast Self-Exam (BSEs) while 28 percent noted that they would schedule mammogram. These results are convincing and confirm the hypothesis as the core goal of FCNs education was to increase awareness among patients and foster early breast cancer detection. In other words, the mission specified by authors seems to be successfully completed, making the study reliable and valid. Furthermore, the results go in line with those that were discovered by the previous research. For instance, Shirazi, Shirazi, and Bloom (2013) argue that culturally competent faith-based frame is essential for breast cancer detection in underserved populations.

As for the limitations of the study, it should be stressed that the results cannot be generalized to wider populations due to the characteristic of the target audience. Among other challenges, there is the fact that each of the counties had its own peculiarities that created difficulties for FCNs in reaching them. However, the above challenge led to the maximized involvement of FCNs in the counties. The implications of the study state that trust and rapport are to be built on the basis of community networking, and educational sessions as well as additional activities resulting in educational programming are essential to cultivating early breast cancer detection. These implications and the conclusion of the article are logical as they reflect the initial purpose of the study. Personally, I would use this article in my practice as it integrates credible literature review and appropriate research on relevant theme the consideration of which is pertinent to modern nursing challenges.


DeSantis, C., Naishadham, D., & Jemal, A. (2013). Cancer statistics for African Americans. Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 63(2), 151–166.

Fair, A.M., Monahan, P.O., Russell, K., Zhao, Q., & Champion, V.L. (2012). The interaction of perceived risk and benefits and the relationship to predicting mammography adherence in African American women. Oncology Nursing Forum, 39(1), 53–60.

Kaplan, L. (2012). . American Nurse Today, 7(10). Web.

Mayer, D. K. (2015). Response to “Fostering early breast cancer detection: Faith community nurses reaching at-risk populations”. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 19(2), 136.

Shackelford, J., Weyhenmeyer, D., & Mabus, L. (2014). Fostering early breast cancer detection: Faith community nurses reaching at-risk populations. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 18(6), 113-117.

Shirazi, M., Shirazi, A., & Bloom, J. (2013). Developing a culturally competent faith-based framework to promote breast cancer screening among Afghan immigrant women. Journal of Religion and Health, 54(1), 153-159.

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