Case Study 2: Accent Reduction Therapy for a Doctor
This case study gives information on how Voice Science provided detailed support to a doctor wanting to enhance their communication and improve intelligibility.
A 35 year old male general practitioner was experiencing ongoing problems with his communication and intelligibility when interacting with patients. The general practitioner stated that he “feels very anxious giving medical information to my patients and their families because my speech is not clear.” He also reported that he was “tired of not being understood clearly” and outlined concerns regarding his ability to achieve career progression due to communication barriers.
The doctor contacted Voice Science and scheduled an Initial Diagnostic Assessment of Accent for Medical Professionals.
Diagnostic Assessment of Accent
The clinician took a case history to obtain further insight into:
- the nature of the general practitioner’s communication problems
- environmental, behavioural and psychosocial factors impacting on communication
- an inventory of frequently used words, concepts and communication tasks undertaken by the general practitioner
Sound recordings of the doctor’s were also taken for subsequent acoustic analysis to determine a suggested treatment plan.
The clinician provided the doctor with information on ratings of accent strength according to mild, moderate and pronounced accent features as well as insight into prognostic indicators.
A diagnostic report was then written and provided to the client within 5 business days .
Barriers to Clear Communication
The clinician noted several barriers to clear communication for the general practitioner.
Accent Reduction Therapy for Doctors
Accent reduction therapy was provided across a course of 15 sessions according to the diagnosis of a pronounced accent from a Mainstream English target using the Voice Science Assessment Protocol.
Each session was tailored to ensure pragmatic and functional communication success. Emphasis was placed upon incorporating high frequency medical vocabulary and expressions to enhance the transfer of clinical goals to daily communication activities.
The accent reduction therapy program encompassed the following aspects to address the general practitioner’s needs:
A follow up post treatment assessment was completed after the 15 treatment sessions on the client’s request and revealed improved intelligibility, vowel and consonant accuracy and speech features that revealed heightened English prosody and intonation comparative to the initial diagnostic assessment. The general practitioner reported he had received “positive feedback about my communication from my colleagues… I also am seldom asked to repeat myself.” He confirmed that he experienced reduced anxiety when presenting at conferences and reported that “I can now manage my speech rate and and pronunciation effectively so that I no longer feel as anxious when I communicate in English.”
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