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Emotional Intelligence Among Medical Students and Residents in Palestine: A Cross-sectional Study
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  • Bashair Ewaiwe,
  • Rania Attiyeh,
  • Effat Niroukh,
  • Bassel Hijazi,
  • Samer Adawi,
  • Heba Al-Qaissi ,
  • Khaled Faris,
  • Osama Darras,
  • Afnan Zuhour,
  • Nabil Ibraheem,
  • Shorouq Hammad,
  • Tabark Al-Masri ,
  • Hussein Hallak
Bashair Ewaiwe
Al Quds University
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Rania Attiyeh
Al Quds University
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Effat Niroukh
Al Quds University
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Bassel Hijazi
Al Quds University
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Samer Adawi
Al Quds University
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Heba Al-Qaissi
Al Quds University
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Khaled Faris
Al Quds University
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Osama Darras
Al Quds University
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Afnan Zuhour
Al Quds University
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Nabil Ibraheem
Al Quds University
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Shorouq Hammad
Al Quds University
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Tabark Al-Masri
Al Quds University
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Hussein Hallak
Al Quds University
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Abstract

Objective: In medical education and clinical practice, emotional intelligence (EI) has been related to improved doctor-patient relationships. Here, EI was measured among Palestinian medical stu-dents in two stages of their studies, clinical and basic sciences, and factors that may affect it were assessed. Moreover, EI scores were compared between participating universities to detect possible differences. Methods: A quantitative, cross-sectional, questionnaire-based, online survey was conducted on 692 medical students attending Al-Quds and Al-Najah Universities in Palestine. Emotional intel-ligence was evaluated using the 33-item scale introduced by Schutte et al. (1998). Data was ana-lyzed in a quantitative manner using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (Ver. 20.0). Results: The mean EI was 3.83 (SD=0.41) out of maximum possible score of 5, with 69.1% hav-ing high EI (>3.68). EI decreased significantly at α≤0.05 across basic and clinical stages of study, with a negative correlation between EI and academic year (PCC= -0.086). This indicates that as academic year increases, EI decreases (p=0.023). Moreover, EI is affected positively and signifi-cantly at α≤0.05 by having a hobby or doing extracurricular activities. In addition, students who indicate continual regret for studying medicine tend to have lower EI, which may reflect a lack of interest in studying this field. Conclusion: The study found no significant differences in mean EI at α ≤0.05 between the stu-dents of Al-Quds (mean=3.83) and Al-Najah universities (mean=3.84). At these universities, par-ticipating medical students, both male and female, had relatively high levels of emotional intelli-gence. Students in the clinical stage had lower EI than those in the basic sciences stage, which indicates a conflict between objectivity and humanity while training clinically. Therefore, emo-tional support during clinical years would aid in improving EI. Moreover, EI being affected by hobbies or extracurricular activities indicates that EI can be modulated through encouragement of such activities.

Peer review status:POSTED

24 Apr 2020Submitted to International Journal of Clinical Practice
28 Apr 2020Assigned to Editor
28 Apr 2020Submission Checks Completed