Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Public Policy & Administration

First Advisor

Kevin W. Allison, Ph.D.


Improving patient outcomes has long been the rationale supporting calls to reform health care delivery systems and health profession education programs (Greiner, 2002; Institutes of Medicine, 2001, 2004; O’Neil & Pew Health Professions Commission, 1998). In 2003, the Institute of Medicine shared its vision statement for health professions education, asserting that “[a]ll health professionals should be educated to deliver patient-centered care as members of an interdisciplinary team, emphasizing evidence-based practice, quality improvement approaches and informatics” (Knebel & Greiner, 2003, p. 3).

Despite the importance placed on teamwork in health sciences education, little attention has been devoted to understanding underlying factors influencing student attitudes towards team learning (Curran, Sharpe, Forristall, & Flynn, 2008). The purpose of this study is to explore the importance of emotional and cultural intelligence in shaping pre-health students’ attitudes towards team-based learning.

A non-experimental, cross-sectional study design was used employing correlational and multivariate regression analysis. Findings indicate: a) significant relationships between emotional and cultural intelligence to the value students place on group work; and, b) emotional intelligence accounts for approximately 3% of variance above and beyond the Big Five personality factors in predicting student attitudes towards group work.

This study will inform interprofessional education policy and practice in two fundamental ways. First, the study provides insight on the importance of non-academic factors in shaping students’ attitudes towards team-based learning. Secondly, increasing understanding of emotional and cultural intelligence in early stagse of a student’s development influences their preparation for health professions careers.


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