Evaluation of soft skills among Italian Healthcare Rehabilitators: A cross sectional study

  • Grazia Isabella Continisio
    Continuing Medical Education Unit, University Hospital Federico II of Naples, Italy.
  • Nicola Serra
    Department of Public Health, University Federico II of Naples, Italy.
  • Assunta Guillari
    Department of Public Health, University Federico II of Naples , Italy.
  • Rosita Lucchese
    Continuing Medical Education Unit, University Hospital Federico II of Naples, Italy.
  • Silvio Simeone
    Department of Biomedicine and Prevention, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy.
  • Gianpaolo Gargiulo
    Department of Public Health, University Federico II of Naples , Italy.
  • Silvia Toscano
    Continuing Medical Education Unit, University Hospital Federico II of Naples, Italy.
  • Marianna Capo
    Department of Humanities, University Federico II of Naples , Italy.
  • Angela Capuano
    Department of Emergency, AORN Santobono-Pausilipon, Naples, Italy.
  • Franca Sarracino
    Department of Pediatrics, Betania Evangelical Hospital, Naples, Italy.
  • Maria Rosaria Esposito
    Istituto Nazionale Tumori, Fondazione “G. Pascale” of Naples, Italy.
  • Teresa Rea
    Department of Public Health, University Federico II of Naples , Italy.


Background: Healthcare rehabilitator skills can be grouped into hard and soft skills. Hard skills are specific and teachable, which can be defined and measured, while soft skills are less tangible and more difficult to quantify. The aim of this study is to investigate the level of knowledge of soft skills among Italian healthcare rehabilitatorsand how they were acquired.

Design and Methods
: Two hundred healthcare rehabilitators, who worked in Southern Italy were enrolled from September 1st to October 31st 2017, and interviewed with Computer-Assisted-Web-Interview (CAWI) software, to assess their level of soft skills.

: Healthcare rehabilitators showed significant satisfaction with university education (59.5%), particularly for theoretical training (64%), while significant dissatisfaction was found for technical-practical training (63.5%), training in patients’ family management (66.5%) and stages participation to improve soft skills (59%). Dissatisfied rehabilitators were found for university education of soft skills (59%), particularly for interpersonal relationships with patients family (66.5%) and technical-practical train in(63.5%). Women considered the training courses about soft skills acquisition more useful than men (43.8%).

: Healthcare rehabilitator training is lacking in the teaching of both technical-practical and soft skills. It is striking that in a healthcare profession like that of the rehabilitator, where practical and empathic skills are fundamental in the relationship with the patients, such skills are not treated in analogously with theoretical training.


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