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Behavioural Sciences

This department has been in existence in the Medical School since 1982. The department is primarily concerned with the teaching of the Behavioural Sciences to the pre-clinical years as well as psychiatry to those in the clinical years.


The department aims to:

  • help fulfill the general School of Medical Sciences’ vision of the training of all-round, high caliber and highly sensitive doctors with high ethical, moral and social standards
  • fulfill the above aim by instilling into the young and budding doctors the importance of behavioural and psychosocial factors in the genesis, course, diagnosis and treatment of physical and mental health illnesses
  • research into mental health illnesses and related issues, and
  • provide much needed mental health services, thus augmenting the work of the Psychiatric Unit at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH)
  • To train doctors to develop skills to help patients and the public manage their long-term conditions.


Members of Staff

  • A summary of our staffing is as follows






Professor ; Medical Ethicist/Supportive Psychotherapist

Full time, KNUST


Senior Lecturer (s) Clinical Psychologists

Full time,KNUST


Lecturer, Clinical Psychologist

Full – Time, KNUST


Lecturer, Psychiatrist

Full – Time, KNUST



Specialist Psychiatrists (Adjunct assistant


Full – Time, KATH


Medical Officers/Resident(s)

Full – Time, KATH



Senior Clerk

Full – Time, KNUST


Head Cleaner

Full – Time, KNUST


National Service / Voluntary Service Personnel



Academic Activities

Our core mandate as with every department includes teaching, mental health service provision and research.


Our teaching activities could be categorized into Preclinical and Clinical.


Preclinical Teaching

Our department teaches Behavioural Sciences (mainly Psychology and Ethics) to Human Biology Students (first to third year medical students) at the preclinical level. At this level we teach the students a set of topics in Behavioural Sciences under the broad headings of Foundations of Behavioural Sciences and Personality and Social Behaviour. The curriculum is made up of four main modules as follows:


MODULE I:              Definition and Scope of Behavioural Sciences

MODULE II:             Learning, Behaviour, Cognition and Intelligence

MODULE III:           Personality, Motivation, Emotion, Stress, Assessment and treatment Options in handling illnesses and

MODULE IV:           Professional – Patient Relationship


Module I,is taught in the first year, while Modules II, III and IV which fall under Personality and Social Behaviour are taught in the third years.

In addition to the above, we teach students in the following departments:

DEPARTMENT OF NURSING                    Behavioural Sciences for Nursing I,and Midwifery I

                                                                    Behavioural Sciences for Nursing II

                                                                   Psychiatric Emergency for Nursing IV

DEPARTMENT OF SPORTS & EXERCISE                   Life, Health & Sports Psychology



DEPARTMENT OF MEDICAL LABORATORY         Introduction to Psychology



DEPARTMENT OF SONOGRAPHY        Behavioural Sciences I

                                                                  Law Profesionalism & Ethics III


DISABILITY (CEDRES)                   Stress Management & Disability and Counseling Skills

DEPARTMENT OF OPTOMETRY             Human Psychology



Clinical Teaching

The psychiatric clinicians within the department, contribute towards the teaching of Psychiatry to medical students and graduate doctors who are specializing in psychiatry. This includes classroom didactic teaching and interactive tutorials, bedside teaching and demonstrations in the out-patient clinic.

Our clinical team's activities have included teaching both junior and senior clerks and preparing them for exams on their rotations through psychiatry.

The Psychiatrists have worked harmoniously in tandem with the clinical psychologists in the department to provide more holistic psychiatric care to service users (psychiatric patients and their care-givers).

Some of the topics taught include:

  •  Historical Review/Etiology and classification of psychiatric disorders
  •  Psychopathology/psychiatric symptomatology
  •  History taking in psychiatry and mental state examination
  •  Organic Brain Syndromes
  •  Addiction psychiatry and the personality disorders
  •  The major psychiatric disorders – schizophrenia and the mood disorders
  •  Anxiety and neurotic disorders
  •  Perinatal psychiatric disorders
  •  Child and adolescent psychiatric disorders and psychiatry of old age
  •  Transcultural psychiatry and emergency psychiatric disorders.

The details and level of depth of the curriculum that should be covered increases with increasing clinical years.


Ongoing Projects and Collaborations

We have maintained our linkage with our partners in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia.  Several research work have taken place through our joint collaboration in the area of Community Psychiatry.

The human resource needs of the department is reinforced by visits of psychiatrists from Ghanaian medical schools, USA, Australia, UK and also through the initiative of psychiatrists in the diaspora who support the teaching of clinical psychiatry in the country.

There is an ongoing yearly Inter Medical Schools Debate specifically in Psychiatry since 2011 sponsored by the St John of God Hospital, Ireland. The School of Medical Sciences, KNUST, hosted the first one in 2011, the third one in  2013 and the seventh one in  2017, by the courtesy of the Deans of SMS and the Provost of College of Health Sciences.  

There is an on-going collaboration between our department and, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Alberta, Canada, initiated by aluminus Prof. Vincent Agyapong to establish a new postgraduate programme at the Department of Behavioural Sciences, SMS, KNUST. The programme, Masters in Global Mental Health Policy, Services and Development   is to be taught by an international faculty of experts in the field from Africa, Europe and North America.  The programme has been approved and it is to begin in the coming academic year, 2018/19.


Research Activities

The Department of Behavioural Sciences teams up with Prof Oye Gureje of University of Ibadan and the PaM-D team in a research project aimed at Partnership between Othordox and Alternative Mental Health Practice and how Mental Health could be developed in Africa. This project aims at integrating traditional and orthodox psychiatric practices.

The department leads a team of KNUST experts in the provision of expertise in the conduct of Examinations to support the Nurses and Midwifery Council in the introduction of on-line examination in a CINOP project. NICHE 261 funded by the Netherlands government.

Currently there is research in the department focusing on indices of mental health promotion in the area of subjective wellbeing, disability, and indigenization of psychotherapy for context-specific efficacy and also on predictors of suicide among university students.


Service to Community

Our department is a major service provider for mental health services for Kumasi and its surrounding geographical areas including parts of the northern sector of Ghana.

Other services provided by our department include Psychotherapy, Liaison and Forensic Assessments and report writing as well as preventive mental and educational health talks. We also render specialized services to our affiliated satellite organizations such as Kumasi Cheshire Home, Garden City Special School, Asokore Mampong and Community Psychiatry in Tafo. As usual internally, we ran liaison psychiatric services for other KATH directorates as and when referrals are requested and thus contribute regularly to emergency care of patients at the Accident and Emergency Centre.


Other Activities

We provide psychotherapy and psycho educational programmes to staff and students of KNUST and persons in the community. Staff of our department currently ran the services of the University Counselling Centre for both staff and students of the University Community.

Since 2013, we have started a novel and very helpful campus psychiatric service which identify, treat and support students and staff of the university who develop mental health problems on in- and out-patient basis at the KNUST Hospital.  In the past, these individuals would have had to be referred to Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital or be taken to their respective hometowns by their families or care-givers with a lot of inconveniences for treatment.

Our department organized and runs the tutorial system in the School of Medical Sciences. The tutorial system at SMS is managed under a mentor-mentee arrangement where senior members mentor their students.