Objectives: Emotional intelligence helps to fulfill the competencies required by pharmacy students for personal and professional growth. There is a scarcity of Malaysian literature on this subject, particularly involving pharmacy students. The objectives of this study were to measure emotional intelligence of pharmacy students and to determine its association with the demographic characteristics of the participants. Methods: Data were taken from a survey completed by undergraduate pharmacy students using a prospective, cross-sectional design. Survey items were adopted from a self-administered questionnaire designed by National Health Services London Leadership Academy. The questionnaire measured 5 competencies of emotional intelligence including self-awareness, managing emotions, managing oneself, empathy, and social skill. Results: Of 450 participants, 420 responded to the survey giving a response rate of 93.3%. The overall mean score of the participants for all the emotional intelligence competencies was 30. Specifically, participants scored highest in managing emotions (ME) with the total score of 31.5 while the lowest score of 27 was recorded for social skill. The median scores of participants for individual questions ranged from 2.5 to 4 on a 5-point Likert scale. Female participants had higher self-awareness scores than their male counterparts (p<0.05). The final year students had a higher median score in all the competencies of emotional intelligence than their respective subgroups (p<0.05). Conclusion: The findings indicate that emotional intelligence among pharmacy students was average. Participants scored highest in managing emotions and lowest in social skills. This study provided preliminary data for future research to form a basis to include emotional intelligence in pharmacy curricula.
Key words: Emotional intelligence, pharmacy, students, curricula, Malaysia