Reflection and peer feedback for augmenting emotional intelligence among undergraduate students: A quasi-experimental study from a rural medical college in central India
A published paper in the Medical for Health Journal September 2019 | Volume : 32 | Issue : 1
Professionalism is the foundation of the doctor–patient relationship with emotional competency at its core. This competency is based on emotional intelligence (EI), contributing to effective work performance. As EI is reasonably new in health professions education in India, this study was conducted to assess the effect of reflection and peer feedback on EI scores among undergraduate medical students and explore facilitating and hindering factors for augmenting EI. Methods: This pre- and post interventional study was conducted among 94 final-year (Part I) medical students from a rural medical college in Central India. Baseline assessment of EI scores was done using a self-reported validated EI scale, and then, a mini-workshop was conducted to sensitize students on EI and to train them in writing reflection and giving peer feedback. Between the pretest and posttest, students were asked to write weekly reflection and take monthly feedback from the “peer” of their choice. Posttest assessment was done at 1 week, 1 month, and 3 months. Force-field analysis was undertaken with 10 students each with highest and lowest EI scores to assess facilitating and hindering factors. Results: There was a significant improvement (P < 0.0001) in the EI scores at each subsequent time point from baseline. Students who were male, from nuclear families and considered themselves spiritual had significantly higher median EI scores. Students reported self-motivation, social support, and openness to learn new things as enabling forces for augmenting EI. Hindering factors were time constraint and lack of mutual trust in the relationship between students. Discussion: Based on the findings, it can be concluded that personal introspection methods such as self-reflection and peer feedback help to improve the EI of undergraduate students. Therefore, it is imperative that the students are trained in these skills for building their emotional competencies.