Department of Pathology
Medical Subject Headings
*Affect; Communication; Data Collection; Empathy; Family Practice; Female; Health Services Research; Humans; Male; Patient Satisfaction; Personality Inventory; *Physician-Patient Relations; Physicians; United States
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: This study investigated the relationship between patient satisfaction and physicians' scores on a test of emotional intelligence.
METHODS: Faculty and resident physicians at a southern medical school completed the Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQi). Patient subjects were recruited at the conclusion of an office visit and completed a patient satisfaction survey. Spearman rank order correlations and t tests were used to examine the relationship between global, composite, and subscale scores on the EQi and patient satisfaction. Race, gender, and resident/faculty status were compared via t tests.
RESULTS: When patient satisfaction scores were used to dichotomize physicians into two groups, those with 100% satisfied patients and those with less than 100% satisfaction, only one subscale of EQi, "happiness," was related to higher satisfaction.
CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest a limited relationship between physicians'scores on a test of emotional intelligence and patient satisfaction. Implications for physician training programs are offered in light of recent focus on physician-patient communication in medical education. Application of emotional intelligence concepts to physician skills and patient attitudes needs further research that may lead to further educational opportunities.
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Citation: Fam Med. 2002 Nov-Dec;34(10):750-4. Link to article on publisher's website