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Promoting wellness and stress management in residents through emotional intelligence training

Authors Shahid R, Stirling J, Adams W

Received 25 May 2018

Accepted for publication 31 July 2018

Published 20 September 2018 Volume 2018:9 Pages 681—686

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/AMEP.S175299

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Robert Robinson

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Anwarul Azim Majumder


Ramzan Shahid,1 Jerold Stirling,1 William Adams2

1Department of Pediatrics, Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, IL, USA; 2Clinical Research Office Biostatistics Core, Loyola University Chicago, Maywood, IL, USA

Background: US physicians are experiencing burnout in alarming numbers. However, doctors with high levels of emotional intelligence (EI) may be immune to burnout, as they possess coping strategies which make them more resilient and better at managing stress. Educating physicians in EI may help prevent burnout and optimize their overall wellness. The purpose of our study was to determine if educational intervention increases the overall EI level of residents; specifically, their stress management and wellness scores.
Participant and methods: Residents from pediatrics and med-ped residency programs at a university-based training program volunteered to complete an online self-report EI survey (EQ-i 2.0) before and after an educational intervention. The four-hour educational workshop focused on developing four EI skills: self-awareness; self-management; social awareness; and social skills. We compared de-identified median score reports for the residents as a cohort before and after the intervention.
Results: Thirty-one residents (20 pediatric and 11 med-ped residents) completed the EI survey at both time intervals and were included in the analysis of results. We saw a significant increase in total EI median scores before and after educational intervention (110 vs 114, P=0.004). The stress management composite median score significantly increased (105 vs 111, P<0.001). The resident’s overall wellness score also improved significantly (104 vs 111, P=0.003).
Conclusions: As a group, our pediatric and med-peds residents had a significant increase in total EI and several other components of EI following an educational intervention. Teaching EI skills related to the areas of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and social skill may improve stress management skills, promote wellness, and prevent burnout in resident physicians.

Keywords: burnout, physician, educational intervention

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