Emotional intelligence and perceived stress of Australian pre-registration healthcare students : a multi-disciplinary cross-sectional study
Foster, K, Fethney, J, Kozlowski, D, Fois, R, Reza, R & McCloughen, A 2018, 'Emotional intelligence and perceived stress of Australian pre-registration healthcare students : a multi-disciplinary cross-sectional study', Nurse Education Today, vol. 66, pp. 51-56.
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Background: Healthcare students can experience high levels of stress. Emotional intelligence can moderate stress and increase wellbeing however there has been no prior research on the relationship between emotional intelligence and stress in Australian healthcare students.
Objectives: To measure emotional intelligence (EI) and perceived stress (PS) in final year healthcare students (nursing, pharmacy and dentistry), and to explore the relationships between EI, PS and discipline.
Design and Setting: A cross sectional survey of pre-registration healthcare students at a metropolitan university in Australia.
Participants: 203 pre-registration final year healthcare students (n = 58 nursing; n = 112 pharmacy; n = 34 dentistry).
Methods: Emotional Intelligence was measured using the GENOS Emotional Intelligence Inventory (Concise Version) and stress was measured using the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS).
Results: A significant negative correlation was found between EI and PS in nursing and pharmacy students. No difference was found in EI across disciplines. Mean EI scores were lower than normative means. PS was significantly higher than the normative mean for pharmacy and dentistry students and higher than nursing students.
Conclusions: Emotional intelligence can have a protective effect against stress for healthcare students and can be increased via targeted educational interventions. To support student wellbeing there is a clear need for preregistration healthcare curricula to include educational components on strengthening EI.