Emotional intelligence and communication skills: preliminary results of a training in a rehabilitation team

  • M. Sommaruga
  • F. Giaquinto
  • P. Gremigni


INTRODUCTION: It’s known that emotional intelligence (EI) improves the communication skills of health personnel. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of a training focused on EI in improving the ability of a rehabilitation team to deliver Patient Centered Care (PCC). METHODS: Twenty-nine participants were randomly assigned to the intervention group (n = 15) or to the control group (n = 14) and evaluated at T0 and T1. Only the intervention group participated in a 10-hours training focused on EI. Evaluation was based on participants’ self-assessed EI (Emotional Intelligence Scale; EIS) and ability to relate to the patient using the PCC principles (Patient-Provider Relationship Questionnaire; PPRQ), and patients’ (n = 84) rating of participants’ relational skills (PPRQ-patient form). RESULTS: Self-rated EI significantly increased in all three factors of EIS (p = 0.001, 0.02, and 0.03, respectively) only in the intervention group. Self-assessed relational skills also improved in the intervention group, although only in relation to Involvement of the patient in care (p = 0.003). Patients’ rating of health professionals’ relational skills significantly improved only in the intervention group in three of the four factors of the PPRQ: Interest in the patient's agenda (p = 0.006), Involvement of the patient in care (p = 0.009), and Effective communication (p = 0.006). CONCLUSIONS: The results underline the importance of ad-hoc training, aimed primarily at enhancing emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills, to improve the delivering of PCC by healthcare professionals working in a rehabilitation unit.
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