Date of Conferral





Health Services


Michael Furukawa


Patient satisfaction has a significant role in the healthcare industry, as high patient satisfaction can improve quality outcomes. Hospital leadership is responsible for the culture, outcomes, and patient experience, which can involve different leadership styles. The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine the relationship between leadership style of senior leaders and patient satisfaction in inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs). Through the theoretical framework of transformational and transactional leadership theories, the research questions were designed to determine whether a statistically significant relationship existed between leadership style (transformational, transactional, and laissez-faire leadership) and patient satisfaction. The Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire was administered electronically to senior leaders in an IRF system and combined with secondary patient satisfaction data obtained from the IRF system. Senior leaders from 72 IRFs completed the online survey. Pearson's correlation and multiple linear regression revealed mixed results. The Pearson's correlation indicated small negative linear correlations between transformational leadership and laissez-faire leadership with patient satisfaction as well as a small positive linear correlation between transactional leadership and patient satisfaction. For multiple regression, none of the tests produced statistically significant results, which led to a failure to reject the null hypotheses and inconclusive findings. Through the further examination of the relationship between the leadership subscales and patient satisfaction, healthcare administrators can impact patient satisfaction through education and trainings for senior leaders.