The relationship between surgical residents' perception of leadership and patient safety culture

Pallavi Daram Annambhotla, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Introduction. Patient safety culture is the integration of interrelated practices that once developed is supported by both the culture and leadership of the organization (Sagan, 1993). The purpose of this study is to describe and examine the relationship between surgical residents’ perception of their leadership and the resulting organizational safety culture within their clinical setting. This assessment is important to understanding the extent that leadership style affects the perception of the safety culture.^ Methods. A secondary dataset was used which included data from 68 surgical residents from two survey instruments, Organizational Description Questionnaire (ODQ) and Patient Safety Climate In Healthcare Organizations (PSCHO) Survey. Multiple regressions followed by hierarchical regressions with the introduction of the Post Graduate Year (PGY) variable examined the association between the leadership styles, Transactional and Transformational and the organizational safety culture variables, Overall Emphasis on Safety, Senior management engagement, Organizational resources for safety. Independent t-tests were conducted to assess whether males and females differ among the organizational safety culture variables and either leadership style.^ Results. The surgical residents perceived their organizational leadership to have greater emphasis placed on transformational leadership culture style relative to transactional leadership culture style. The only significant association found was between Transformational leadership and Organizational resources for safety. PGY had no significant effect on the leadership or the safety culture perceived. No significant difference was found between females and males in regards to the safety culture or the leadership style.^ Discussion. These results have implications as they support the premise for the study which is surgical residents perceive their existing leadership and organizational culture to be more transformational in nature than transactional. Significance was found between the leadership perceived and one of the safety culture variables, Organizational resources for safety. The foundation for this association lies in the fact that surgical residents are the personnel which are a part of the organizational resources. Although PGY differentiation did not seem to play a difference in the leadership perceived this could be attributed to the small sample size. No gender difference were found which supports the assumption that within such a highly specialized group such as surgical residents there is no gender differences since the highly specialized field draws a certain type of person with distinct characteristics. In future research these survey tools can be used to gauge the survey audiences’ perception and safety interventions can be developed based on the results. ^

Subject Area

Health Sciences, Public Health|Sociology, Organizational

Recommended Citation

Annambhotla, Pallavi Daram, "The relationship between surgical residents' perception of leadership and patient safety culture" (2010). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3413584.