The language of scholarship accent modification program
Freysteinson, Wyona M.
Belay, Hanna A.
Duson, Betty M.
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Communication remains a key element in promoting patient safety and satisfaction. Healthcare organizations have focused on improving communication through technology and patient-centered care. One communication challenge that merits further investigation is the problematic communication that occurs when a healthcare provider speaks with an accent that makes it difficult for others to understand. A one-group pretest-posttest study examined the perceptions of 27 individuals - nursing students, health care administration students and registered nurses - who participated in a 12-week accent modification program. Self-esteem, communication competence and communication apprehension were measured before and after the intervention. There was a statistically significant increase in self-perceived self-esteem and several communication competence items. Implications for education and practice suggest that schools of nursing and healthcare organizations consider implementing accent modification programs. A key implication for future research is to determine the existence of a link between patient safety and satisfaction and the presence of strong accents among nurses and other health care workers.