Comparative Study on Knowledge About Autism Spectrum Disorder Among Paediatric and Psychiatric Nurses in Public Hospitals in Kumasi, Ghana

Wireko-Gyebi Sampson1, *, Ashiagbor Emelia Sandra2
1 University of Energy and Natural Resources, Sunyani, Ghana, West Africa
2 Ashanti School for the Deaf, Jamasi, Ghana, West Africa

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© 2018 Sampson and Sandra.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the University of Energy and Natural Resources, P.O. Box 214, Sunyani, Ghana, West Africa, Tel: 233244470660; E-mail:



Despite the existence of autism spectrum disorder in Ghana, few studies have provided the necessary information on the phenomenon. These studies have mostly focused on speech and language therapy for children and modification of classroom environment for children with autism spectrum disorder. This approach has resulted in a paucity of knowledge on nurse’s knowledge of autism spectrum disorder in Ghana.


The study sought to assess the knowledge of paediatric and psychiatric on autism spectrum disorder.


In this study, 130 paediatric and 93 psychiatric nurses sampled from five public hospitals in the Kumasi Metropolis participated in the survey. The Knowledge about Childhood Autism among Health Workers (KCAHW) questionnaire was employed to assess their knowledge of autism spectrum disorder.


It emerged from the study that psychiatric nurses were more knowledgeable on autism spectrum disorder than paediatric nurses in general and specifically on each of the four domains on the KCAHW questionnaire. However, the level of knowledge on autism spectrum disorder among both groups of nurses remains low. Apart from the previous encounter, there were no significant differences between paediatric and psychiatric nurses’ gender, age, marital status, working experience and their knowledge.


In view of the findings, it will be appropriate for autism spectrum disorder to be included in the clinical training curriculum as well as the continuous professional education for both paediatric and psychiatric nurses. This will go a long way in helping paediatric and psychiatric nurses to increase their knowledge of autism spectrum disorder.

Keywords : Autism spectrum disorder, Knowledge of ASD, Paediatric nurses, Psychiatric nurses, Public hospitals, Kumasi.