Emotional Intelligence, Radiography Students and the International Curricula

The University of Sydney, Australia

The University of Liverpool, United Kingdom

Jonathon MCNULTY
University College Dublin, Ireland

Steven LANE
The University of Liverpool, United Kingdom

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong


Emotional intelligence (EI) is a growing field of inquiry in the health professions. Higher EI scores have been linked to better academic performance, patient compassion and strategies for complex decision making in clinical situations. Curricula in radiographic programs should be investigated for strategies in appreciation of the cultural diversity of the patient base as radiography practitioners are internationally mobile and require excellent communication skills, inclusive of practice and reflective engagement.

The initiative:
This project explores the EI of radiography students internationally across 4 universities (Australia, Hong Kong, UK and Ireland) and maps both their scores and curricula activities. It also compares student EI scores to qualified radiographers.

All first year radiography students in 6 degree programs at four universities were invited to take part in a longitudinal study. The Trait EI questionnaire was used to measure EI at 3 points throughout the first year of study and educational activities designed to promote EI were recorded. Initial scores from participants (n=294) indicate significantly lower EI scores from students in Hong Kong than those of European and Australian students (p=<0.05). An analysis of 81 students' scores at 1st and 3rd time points using a paired T test and ANOVA show that there is no change in the EI scores of the radiography students across the first year of study, suggesting that EI does not alter across the first year of the 4 radiography programs. Student scores were also significantly lower than qualified radiographer scores, thus questioning if curricula promotes, assists or is tailored to culturally based EI.

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