Introduction: Contemporary health care services are more productive and successful when their health professionals have emotional intelligence (EI). The objective of this study was to explore the demographic predictors of EI among radiation therapists working in cancer care centres in NSW, Australia.
Methods: Data were collected using a cross-sectional self-administered survey. Emotional intelligence was measured using the Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire- Short version (TEIQue - SF). Multiple regression analysis was used to identify if age, years of experience, gender, highest level of education obtained or level of current employment were predictors of EI.
Results: A total of 205 radiation therapists participated in this study. The mean scores for Global EI, emotionality, self-control, wellbeing and sociability dimensions were 5.16 (SD = 0.6), 5.3 (SD = 0.7), 4.9 (SD = 0.9), 5.7 (SD = 0.8) and 4.7 (SD = 0.8) respectively. Age and level of current employment were identified as predictors of global EI. Gender and level of education were significant predictors of the EI emotionality dimension. Levels of employment along with level of education were both significant predictors of the sociability dimension of EI.
Conclusions: Being a young radiation therapist, female, and having higher levels of employment and higher levels of education were predictors of EI. Given that level of education and level of employment are both amendable demographic factors, strategies to address these factors to reduce the effects of emotional struggle experienced by radiation therapists in their work need to be implemented.