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The impact of emotional intelligence in health care professionals on caring behaviour towards patients in clinical and long-term care settings: Findings from an integrative review



The impact of emotional intelligence in health care professionals on caring behaviour towards patients in clinical and long-term care settings: Findings from an integrative review



International Journal of Nursing Studies 80: 106-117



Over recent years there has been criticism within the United Kingdom's health service regarding a lack of care and compassion, resulting in adverse outcomes for patients. The impact of emotional intelligence in staff on patient health care outcomes has been recently highlighted. Many recruiters now assess emotional intelligence as part of their selection process for health care staff. However, it has been argued that the importance of emotional intelligence in health care has been overestimated. To explore relationships between emotional intelligence in health care professionals, and caring behaviour. To further explore any additional factors related to emotional intelligence that may impact upon caring behaviour. An integrative review design was used. Psychinfo, Medline, CINAHL Plus, Social Sciences Citation Index, Science Citation Index, and Scopus were searched for studies from 1995 to April 2017. Studies providing quantitative or qualitative exploration of how any healthcare professionals' emotional intelligence is linked to caring in healthcare settings were selected. Twenty two studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Three main types of health care professional were identified: nurses, nurse leaders, and physicians. Results indicated that the emotional intelligence of nurses was related to both physical and emotional caring, but emotional intelligence may be less relevant for nurse leaders and physicians. Age, experience, burnout, and job satisfaction may also be relevant factors for both caring and emotional intelligence. This review provides evidence that developing emotional intelligence in nurses may positively impact upon certain caring behaviours, and that there may be differences within groups that warrant further investigation. Understanding more about which aspects of emotional intelligence are most relevant for intervention is important, and directions for further large scale research have been identified.

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Accession: 065589722

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 29407344

DOI: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2018.01.006


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