An accent modification program




Freysteinson, Wyona M.
Adams, Joshua
Cesario, Sandra
Belay, Hanna A.
Clutter, Paula
Du, Jinlan
Duson, Betty M.
Goff, Marilyn
McWilliams, Lenora
Nurse, Rachelle

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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.


Article originally published in Journal of Professional Nursing, 33(4), 299–304. English. Published online 2017.


Communication, Accent modification, Accent reduction, International nursing students, International healthcare professionals


This is a pre-print version of an article that is available at Recommended citation: Freysteinson, W. M., Adams, J. D., Cesario, S., Belay, H. A., Clutter, P., Du, J., Duson, B. M., Goff, M., McWilliams, L., Nurse, R.-A. P., & Allam, Z. (2017). An accent modification program. Journal of Professional Nursing, 33(4), 299–304. This item has been deposited in accordance with publisher copyright and licensing terms and with the author’s permission.