Artikkeliväitöskirja (G5)

The emotional intelligence of social care and healthcare applicants – Development and evaluation of the test for student selection

Julkaisun tekijätPienimaa Anne

KustantajaUniversity of Turku







Emotional intelligence (EI) is a set of abilities including the perception, expression and management of emotions. Social care and healthcare students engage in clinical practice in their studies and clinical environments can be emotionally challenging. EI is reported to reduce stress, enhance overall study success and performance in clinical practice. However, the research on social care and healthcare student selection is scarce, thus more research is needed. The purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate an emotional intelligence test (EMI-T) for the social care and healthcare student selection in UASs and assess applicants’ EI and factors related to it. The goal was to enhance social care and healthcare student selection. This three-phased study included theoretical phase, test development phase and evaluation phase. The data collection methods in theoretical phase were systematic literature search (n=26), focus group interviews (n=5) and structured questionnaire for social care and healthcare educators and professionals. In development phase the data were collected with structured questionnaire for three expert panels and EMI-T in pilot studies for first-year social care and healthcare students (first pilot n=346; second pilot n=205). In evaluation phase the data were collected with EMI-T from applicants participating in student selection in Spring 2021 (n=4808).  The analysis methods were content analysis, calculation of I-CVI, Item Response Theory (IRT) using graphical analysis with TestGardener software, descriptive measurements, correlations, ANOVA, Tuckey’s test in post-hoc multiple group comparisons and linear regression analysis. According to the results the developed EMI-T proved to be easy but a comprehensive and objective test to assess applicants’ EI. The applicants’ EI was above the centre of the score range and they performed better in management of emotions than other EI abilities. Female gender, older age, higher previous education, parents’ current employment status and if applicant or his/her parents were born in Finland indicated better EI, but these factors explained minorly applicants’ EI variation indicating that fair student selection is possible using the EMI-T. The results can be used for further development of the EMI-T and development of social care and healthcare student selection and education.

Last updated on 2023-29-09 at 12:06