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Influence of Hygienists’ Social Intelligence on Self-Care
Influence of Hygienists’ Social Intelligence on Self-Care

Full Title: Patients’ Perspectives About the Influence of Dental Hygienists’ Social Intelligence on Self-Care

Authors: Ellen J. Rogo, RDH, PhD; Kathleen O. Hodges, RDH, MS; Jennifer L. Evans, RDH, MS

JDH Issue: December 2022

Program Track: Research

Abstract: Purpose: Social Intelligence refers to interpersonal relationships and a person’s ability to recognize and influence the emotions and motivations of another person. The purpose of this study was to describe patients’ perspectives regarding the influence dental hygienists’ Social Intelligence had on their self-care. Perspectives were also compared to determine differences based on the participants’ gender, generation, and recare intervals. Methods: This descriptive comparative study used a convenience sample consisting of patients receiving care at a university dental hygiene clinic. Participants were surveyed during the spring of 2019 following a dental hygiene care appointment which included a 15-minute oral self-care session. Data were collected using a self-designed questionnaire based on the Emotional Competence Framework. Content validity and test-retest reliability were established prior to administration. The Social Intelligence abilities of Social Awareness and Social Skills were measured by thirteen capabilities: Empathy, Service Orientation, Developing Others, Leveraging Diversity, and Political Awareness, Influence, Communication, Leadership, Change Catalyst, Conflict Management, Building Bonds, Collaboration and Teamwork. Participants rated twenty-six items on a 7-point Likert scale. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the data. Results: A total of 103 patients agreed to participate. Means of the Social Awareness capabilities ranged from 6.4 to 6.6 while the means for the Social Skills capabilities ranged from 6.0 to 6.55. There was a statistically significant difference between patients’ perspectives based on gender (p=0.013); female participants rated the capabilities higher than males. However, there were no significant differences between patients’ perspectives based on generation or recare interval (p=0.157 and p=0.340, respectively). Conclusion: All thirteen Social Intelligence capabilities positively influenced the dental hygienists’ Social Intelligence from the patients’ perspectives. Perhaps practitioners and oral healthcare students could benefit from learning about these capabilities and their application to patient self-care.

Learning Objectives:

  • Differentiate Social Intelligence, Social Facility, Social Capacities, Social Skills and Emotional Intelligence.
  • Describe the results of this study.
  • Describe the Client self-care commitment model and its relationship to patient care.

CE Credit Hours: 2.0

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