Doctors' emotional intelligence impacts patient satisfaction
James W. Dugan, Ph.D., 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 percent of 106 physician participants reported that they enjoyed the programs, and 98 percent 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 through 2008. EQ-i score increases corresponded with an increase in patient satisfaction scores, improving from 85 to 90 percent pre-training to 92 to 99 percent 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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