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LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 60  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 164-165  

Comment on assessment and determinants of emotional intelligence and perceived stress among students of a medical college in South India


1 Clinical Associate, Department of Psychiatry, National University Hospital, Clinical Associate, Department of Psychiatry, National University Hospital, 5 Lower Kent Ridge Rd, Singapore - 119 074
2 Clinical Associate, Department of Internal Medicine, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore

Date of Web Publication23-Jun-2016

Correspondence Address:
Jitendra Rohilla
Clinical Associate, Department of Psychiatry, National University Hospital, Singapore
Clinical Associate, Department of Psychiatry, National University Hospital, 5 Lower Kent Ridge Rd, Singapore - 119 074
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-557X.184576

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How to cite this article:
Rohilla J, Tak P. Comment on assessment and determinants of emotional intelligence and perceived stress among students of a medical college in South India. Indian J Public Health 2016;60:164-5

How to cite this URL:
Rohilla J, Tak P. Comment on assessment and determinants of emotional intelligence and perceived stress among students of a medical college in South India. Indian J Public Health [serial online] 2016 [cited 2019 Oct 23];60:164-5. Available from: http://www.ijph.in/text.asp?2016/60/2/164/184576

Sir,

This bears reference to the article entitled "Assessment and determinants of emotional intelligence and perceived stress among students of a medical college in South India" by Joseph et al. published in the "India Journal of Public Health," October-December 2015; 59:310-3. [1] The authors deserve appreciation for conducting such a study with a sample size of 400, which reflects a good effort toward exploring emotional intelligence (EI) and perceived stress (PS) in medical students. Similar findings have been reported previously in a multi-institutional, multi-professional survey among health care students - Medical, Nursing, Mental Health, and Dental but a causal relationship could not be ascertained. [2] I have an opinion that the following issues should be considered before making conclusions about a definite relationship between EI and PS.

1. Stress as a part of learning

Stress is part of life. Healthy persons expose themselves to various types of stress and then pursue their goals or even show an enhanced functioning; this is part of the survival and resilience of human beings. [3] Acute stress may appear to be very distressing for the time-being but it also helps in learning, thus increasing the overall repertoire of a person's coping skills. Moreover, a study by Arora et al. in 2011 has demonstrated that medical students with higher EI are more likely to experience stress during unfamiliar surgical scenarios but are also more likely to recover better compared with their lower EI peers. [4]

2. Controllability of stress

Medical curriculums are predecided courses where students are exposed to challenges in a stepwise manner in an environment under the guidance of medical teachers/supervisors. A study about stress and performance on cognitive tests by Henderson et al. has found that controllable stressor is associated with improved performance and reduced interference. [5]

3. Behavioral response to stress

EI enables a person to regulate himself/herself in stressful situations and use his/her coping skills in a more adaptive away. A person with high EI shows a more appropriate behavioral response to stressful situations than a low EI person despite the same level of perception of stress. Apart from the measurement of PS, assessment of coping skills or the pattern of response to stress among students in the current study could have helped in further understanding of effect of EI on PS.

4. Difficulty of a casual relationship

The study by Joseph et al. being cross-sectional in nature does not allow any conclusion on the direction of a definite causal connection between EI and PS. It is difficult to say whether people get more stressed when their EI score is low or their EI score decreases when stress is more. EI research still needs further developments to determine the role that EI has in moderating stress or improving functionality.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
   References Top

1.
Joseph N, Joseph N, Panicker V, Nelliyanil M, Jindal A, Viveki R. Assessment and determinants of emotional intelligence and perceived stress among students of a medical college in South India. Indian J Public Health 2015;59:310-3.  Back to cited text no. 1
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
2.
Birks Y, McKendree J, Watt I. Emotional intelligence and perceived stress in healthcare students: A multi-institutional, multi-professional survey. BMC Med Educ 2009;9:61.   Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Maier SF, Watkins LR. Role of the medial prefrontal cortex in coping and resilience. Brain Res 2010;1355:52-60.   Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Arora S, Russ S, Petrides KV, Sirimanna P, Aggarwal R, Darzi A, et al. Emotional intelligence and stress in medical students performing surgical tasks. Acad Med 2011;86:1311-7.   Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Henderson RK, Snyder HR, Gupta T, Banich MT. When does stress help or harm? The effects of stress controllability and subjective stress response on stroop performance. Front Psychol 2012;3:179.  Back to cited text no. 5
    




 

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