Doctors' Emotional Intelligence Impacts Patient Satisfaction

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Doctors' Emotional Intelligence Impacts Patient Satisfaction
Doctors' Emotional Intelligence Impacts Patient Satisfaction

(HealthDay News) — Emotional intelligence (EI) training for otolaryngology residents and faculty improves patient satisfaction, according to a study published online July 10 in JAMA Otolaryngology.

James W. Dugan, PhD, from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Missouri, and colleagues assessed the effects of three levels of interventions on otolaryngology residents and faculty. The three levels included four years of repeated EI assessment, seven years of highly interactive EI training with high-risk/high-stress simulations, and ongoing modeling and mentoring of EI skills by faculty. The Press Ganey Patient Satisfaction Survey was completed by patients to assess the impact of training on their satisfaction.

The researchers found that 97% of 106 physician participants reported that they enjoyed the programs, and 98% reported that they have or could have applied what they learned. From baseline, participants demonstrated improvement in mean Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i) scores post-training and one year later, with improvements sustained in successive years. Post-training scores for the total department improved from the "average" range in pre-training (2005) to "high average" range in mean EQ-i score in years 2006–2008. EQ-i score increases corresponded with an increase in patient satisfaction scores, improving from 85 to 90% pre-training to 92 to 99% after training.

"Emotional intelligence training positively influences patient satisfaction and may enhance medical education and health care outcome," the authors write.

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