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Keywords:

  • emotional intelligence;
  • patient satisfaction;
  • dental education

Abstract

The objective of this study was to determine the degree of correlation between emotional intelligence of dental students, patient satisfaction and related factors. A total of 123 senior students and their patients participated in the study. Students completed the 133 item Bar-On Standardised Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQI) and patients completed a seven item satisfaction questionnaire. The mean score for EI of female students was 442 and 462 for male students, for an overall average score of 452 for all dental students. Male students significantly scored higher in stress control (P = 0.0), general mood (P = 0.011) and intrapersonal scales (P = 0.024). There was a statistically significant relationship between student gender and average EI score (P = 0.007). Married students scored higher in adaptability (P = 0.019) and general mood scales (P = 0.039). Significant relationships existed between students’ gender (P = 0.009), level of patient education (P = 0.0) and patient satisfaction levels. Not recording a significant relationship for the interpersonal scale (r = 0.134), there was a significant relationship amongst intrapersonal, stress control, adaptability, and general mood dimensions of the students and patient satisfaction reports. There was a statistically significant relationship between general emotional intelligence score of the students and patient satisfaction. Patients of the students with high general emotional intelligence scores were significantly more satisfied with treatment than patients of students with low EI.