Physicians' emotional intelligence and patient satisfaction

Peggy J. Wagner, Ginger C. Moseley, Michael M. Grant, Johnathan R. Gore, Christopher Owens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives: This study investigated the relationship between patient satisfaction and physicians' scores on a test of emotional intelligence. Methods: Faculty and resident physicians at a southern medical school completed the Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQi). Patient subjects were recruited at the conclusion of an office visit and completed a patient satisfaction survey. Spearman rank order correlations and t tests were used to examine the relationship between global, composite, and subscale scores on the EQi and patient satisfaction. Race, gender, and resident/faculty status were compared via t tests. Results: When patient satisfaction scores were used to dichotomize physicians into two groups, those with 100% satisfied patients and those with less than 100% satisfaction, only one subscale of EQi, "happiness," was related to higher satisfaction. Conclusions: Findings suggest a limited relationship between physicians'scores on a test of emotional intelligence and patient satisfaction. Implications for physician training programs are offered in light of recent focus on physician-patient communication in medical education. Application of emotional intelligence concepts to physician skills and patient attitudes needs further research that may lead to further educational opportunities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)750-754
Number of pages5
JournalFamily medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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