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Table of Contents
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 48-51

Dimensions of emotional intelligence of doctors in a tertiary care centre in kerala


Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Thrissur, Kerala, India

Date of Submission13-Jun-2019
Date of Decision23-Oct-2019
Date of Acceptance08-Nov-2019
Date of Web Publication02-Jan-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Safa Puliyakkadi
Puliyakkadi House, Eranhikkal Post, Kozhikode, Kerala
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/JIHS.JIHS_32_19

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  Abstract 


Background: Emotional intelligence (EI) has been defined as “the ability to monitor one's own and other people's emotions, to discriminate between different emotions and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behaviour.” This study was taken up to evaluate EI of doctors which plays a pivotal role in doctor–patient relationship.Objectives: The aim of the study was to study the dimensions of EI of doctors in a tertiary care center in Kerala and to find the association between the EI and its dimensions with the sociodemographic variables. Materials and Methods: The cross-sectional study was conducted among doctors in Government Medical College, Thrissur district. The Schutte Self-report Emotional Intelligence Test Scale was used among 70 participants. The total score of the scale ranges from 33 to 165. Selected sociodemographic profile of the participants and the four dimensions of EI were studied. Results: The total EI score obtained was 116.08 ± 14.76, with 95% confidence interval (112.62, 119.53). Nine (12.9%) had good EI, 51 (72.9%) had average EI, while 10 (14.3%) had poor EI. The senior faculty had a higher total EI score as compared to junior residents and interns (P = 0.04). This was the same in the dimension of managing own emotion (P = 0.01). Doctors from the nonclinical department had higher total EI score compared to doctors from the clinical department (P = 0.01). Conclusion: Although the mean total EI score is in bagreeable limits, 10 (14.3%) of the doctors had poor EI, which warrants immediate attention.

Keywords: Dimensions, doctors, emotional intelligence, postgraduate, tertiary care centre


How to cite this article:
Puliyakkadi S, Chalil S, Abraham R, Dipin J P, Raj A, Dayan S. Dimensions of emotional intelligence of doctors in a tertiary care centre in kerala. J Integr Health Sci 2019;7:48-51

How to cite this URL:
Puliyakkadi S, Chalil S, Abraham R, Dipin J P, Raj A, Dayan S. Dimensions of emotional intelligence of doctors in a tertiary care centre in kerala. J Integr Health Sci [serial online] 2019 [cited 2020 May 28];7:48-51. Available from: http://www.jihs.in/text.asp?2019/7/2/48/274532




  Introduction Top


Emotional intelligence (EI) is a theoretical construct which is essentially a cooperative combination of intelligence and emotion.[1],[2],[3] EI has been defined as “the ability to monitor one's own and other people's emotions, to discriminate between different emotions and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behaviour.” EI spans over dimensions which include perception of emotion, managing own emotion, and managing others' utilization of emotions.

The broader conceptualization of intelligence has emerged as an interesting topic in social and organizational psychology,[4] and EI appears to play a critical role in key organizational outcomes, such as job performance and job satisfaction, especially when the focus is on human interaction.[5],[6],[7]

The construct of EI is exceedingly relevant in health-care settings and is clearly applicable to the patient–physician relationship. It is recognized as a key element in maximizing effective patient care and thus increasing patient satisfaction and clinical outcomes. Physicians who are more competent in recognizing emotions, concerns, and needs of patients are more successful in treating them.[8],[9] In India, recent times has shown an increase in disputes between doctors and patients, and the inclusion of medical services under the Consumer Protection Act has put additional strain on the interaction on the part of doctors. In such a scenario, the need for competence on the part of physicians in recognizing emotions, concerns, and needs of patients cannot be stressed more. Furthermore, in the field of medical education, it is observed that EI has a direct relation with an academic achievement of medical students.[10]

In the Indian scenario, EI is a relatively unexplored area. Hence, this study was taken up to evaluate EI of doctors which plays a pivotal role in the doctor–patient relationship.

The main objectives of the study were to assess the various dimensions of EI of doctors in a tertiary care center in Thrissur district and to find the association between the EI and its dimensions with the sociodemographic variables.


  Materials and Methods Top


A cross-sectional study was conducted among doctors in the Government Medical College, Thrissur, a tertiary care teaching institution of South India during October 2018. After obtaining consent from the authorities of the institution, a list of doctors of the institution was obtained. A simple random sampling technique was adopted. A total of 70 doctors were enrolled in this study. The study adhered to the tenets of the Declaration of Helsinki for the research in humans. Informed consent was obtained from all the study participants. The Schutte Self-report Emotional Intelligence Test Scale which contains 33 questions was used. The total score ranges from 33 to 165. The scale comprises four subscales that consist of (a) perception of emotion, (b) managing one's own emotions, (c) managing others' emotions, and (d) utilization of emotions. The participants were asked to rate the extent to which they agree or disagree with each statement on a 5-point scale (1 = strongly disagree and 5 = strongly agree). Three of the questions (5, 28, and 33) are reverse scored. The sum of these four subscales gives the total EI score of the individual. Those who scored more than 80% of the maximum score, i.e., a score of 132, were considered as having good EI, those who scored between 60% and 80% were considered to have average EI, and those who scored <60% of the maximum score were considered to have poor EI. In validation studies, the test demonstrated high internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha = 0.90) and acceptable test–retest reliability (0.78) as well as excellent construct, predictive, and discriminant validity. The study participants were also interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire. Sociodemographic information related to age, sex, and details on work was collected.

All the questionnaires along with other relevant data were manually checked and were then coded for the computer entry. After compilation of the collected data, the analysis was performed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences, version 18 (IBM, Chicago, USA). The results were expressed using appropriate statistical methods. A two-tailed P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.


  Results Top


The mean age of the study participants was 28.17 ± 4.85 years. Twenty-one (30%) of the study participants were males, while 49 (70%) were females [Table 1]. Twenty-eight (40%) were interns, 31 (44.3%) were junior residents, and 11 (15.7%) included senior faculty. Thirty-one (44.28%) were from the nonclinical, while 39 (55.75%) from the clinical departments [Table 2].
Table 1: Sociodemographic details of the study participants

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Table 2: Work details of the study participants

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The total (EI) score obtained was 116.08 ± 14.76, with 95% confidence interval (112.62, 119.53). Nine (12.9%) had good EI, 51 (72.9%) had average EI, while 10 (14.3%) had poor EI [Table 3]. The mean score in the dimension of perception of emotion was 33.20 ± 5.50, in managing own emotion was 32.17 ± 5.22, in managing others emotion was 29.02 ± 3.44, and the score of the utilization of emotions was 21.68 ± 3.44 [Table 4].
Table 3: Emotional intelligence of the study participants

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Table 4: Mean emotional intelligence score of the participants across various dimensions

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The senior faculty had a higher total EI score as compared to junior residents and interns (P = 0.04). This was the same in the dimension of managing own emotion (P = 0.04) [Table 5].
Table 5: Association between emotional intelligence and sociodemographic factors

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Doctors from the nonclinical department have higher total EI score compared to doctors from the clinical department (P = 0.01). This was also significant across all dimensions of EI [Table 5].


  Discussion Top


The construct of EI is increasingly subject to exploration in recent times because of the recognition of the impact on organizations, human interactions, and relations. It is considered as important as intelligence quotient for responding effectively to challenges of life.

Doctors are a group of people whose EI has a varied impact on patient satisfaction and quality of care.[11] Various studies done among doctors to find their EI showed similar mean EI scores. A study which was conducted among academic staffs including junior resident (JR) and postgraduate (PG) students, teaching in the private medical colleges of Odisha, found the mean EI score to be 121.3 ± 10.9.[8] Another study conducted among 200 postgraduate medical students of two medical colleges in Delhi showed the mean EI score to be 124.4 ± 12.8.[12] Even though these values indicate that the doctors consistently have average EI, it is of concern that 14.3% of the present study participants have poor EI.

In this study, the mean scores were highest in the dimension of perception of emotion and lowest in the dimension of the utilization of emotion, similar to that was obtained in a study conducted among the PG students of Delhi[12] [Table 4].

Senior doctors showed a significantly higher EI score than the juniors (P = 0.04) which resembles the findings obtained in the study conducted by Tomar R et al.[8] [Table 5]. This is in accordance with the EI theory which states that scores should show some increase with age, as people become less emotional and better socialized.[13]

The doctors of clinical departments have a significantly lower mean EI score compared to that of nonclinical department (P = 0.01). As comparable to the study done by Ravikumar et al., frequent night duties and emergency duties are associated with lower EI [Table 6].[12] This calls for a reorientation in the duty schedule of doctors.
Table 6: Association between work pattern and emotional intelligence

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  Conclusion Top


Although the mean total EI score is in agreeable limits, 10 (14.3%) of the doctors had poor EI, which warrants immediate attention. Reorientation of duty schedule and improving awareness on the importance and modifiability of EI among doctors can have a positive impact on doctor–patient relationship.

Acknowledgment

The authors would like to thank Dr Francis and Dr Jasla, Government Medical College, Thrissur.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Caruso D, Mayer J, Salovey P. Emotional intelligence and emotional leadership. In: Multiple Intelligence and Leadership. Mahaw, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.; 2002.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Petrides KV, Furnham A, Mavroveli S. Trait emotional intelligence: moving forward in the field of EI'. In: Matthews G, Zeidner M, Roberts RD, editors. The Science of Emotional Intelligence: knowns and Unknowns. London: Oxford University Press; 2007.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Humpel N, Caputi P. Exploring the relationship between work stress, years of experience and emotional competency using a sample of australian mental health nurses. J Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs 2001;8:399-403.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Law KS, Wong CS, Song LJ. The construct and criterion validity of emotional intelligence and its potential utility for management studies. J Appl Psychol 2004;89:483-96.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Van Rooy DL, Viswesvaran C. Emotional intelligence: A meta-analytic investigation of predictive validity and nomological net. J Vocat Behav 2004;65:71-95.   Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Kafetsios K. Zampetakis LA. Emotional intelligence and job satisfaction: Testing the mediatory role of positive and negative affect at work. Pers Ind Diff 2008;44:710-20.   Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Sy T, Tram S, O'Hara LA. Relation of employee and manager emotional intelligence to job satisfaction and performance. J Vocat Behav 2006 68:461-73.   Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Issue V, Tomar R. A Study of Emotional Intelligence among Doctors. 2016;5:303–8.   Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Friedman HS, Di Matteo MR. Interpersonal Issues in Health Care. New York: Academic Press; 1982.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Chew BH, Zain AM, Hassan F. Emotional intelligence and academic performance in first and final year medical students: A cross-sectional study. BMC Med Educ 2013;13:44.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Weng HC, Hung CM, Liu YT, Cheng YJ, Yen CY, Chang CC, et al. Associations between emotional intelligence and doctor burnout, job satisfaction and patient satisfaction. Med Educ 2011;45:835-42.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.
Ravikumar R, Rajoura OP, Sharma R, Bhatia MS. A study of emotional intelligence among postgraduate medical students in Delhi. Cureus 2017;9:e989.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.
McCrae RR, Costa PT Jr., Ostendorf F, Angleitner A, Hrebícková M, Avia MD, et al. Nature over nurture: Temperament, personality, and life span development. J Pers Soc Psychol 2000;78:173-86.  Back to cited text no. 13
    



 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6]



 

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