Background: Emotional intelligence (EI) is increasingly viewed as one of the important skills required for a successful career and personal life. Consequently, efforts have been made to improve personal and group performance in EI, mostly in commercial organizations. However, these programs have not been widely applied in the health field. The aim of this study is to assess the impact of a unique special EI interventional process within the framework of an active hematology-oncology unit in a general hospital.
Methods: This investigation employed a pre- and post-training design using the Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i) measure of EI, both before and after completion of training 10 months later. The training included personal and group EI assessments and 10 EI workshops, each 2 weeks apart and each lasting approximately 2 h. Results were compared to a control group of medical staff who did not undergo any EI training program during the same time period.
Results: Average total Bar-On EQ-i level at baseline for the group was 97.9, which increased significantly after the interventional process to a score of 105.6 (P = 0.001). There were also significant increases in all five main EQ-i scales, as well as for 12 of the 15 subscales. In contrast, the control group showed no significant differences in general EI level, in any of the five main scales or 15 EI subscale areas.
Discussion: This pilot study demonstrated the capability of a group intervention to improve EI of medical staff working in a hematology-oncological unit. The results are encouraging and suggest that the model program could be successfully applied in a large-scale interventional program.