Kolcaba's Comfort theory : Analysis and evaluation

1507 words 7 pages
Kolcaba’s Comfort Theory: Analysis and Evaluation
In my nursing practice I frequently care for long term elderly residents on ventilators and who suffer from stage 3 or 4 pressure ulcers, diabetic, venous ulcers etc. Instead of simply providing pain medications and wound treatment to ease their pain or giving medications to relax them, I wanted to learn ways to enhance the comfort of these residents. This led me to learn more about Katherine Kolcaba’s theory of comfort. I found her theory to be useful in understanding the theory of comfort. Hence as a nurse, it became important for me to analyze, evaluate and research more on its applicability in the world of nursing and also in other health care disciplines.
Level and Scope of the
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Extending the theory of comfort to the community and developing the universal nature of comfort are the two current areas of interest. Comfort theory has been included in electronic nursing classification systems such as NANDA (2007-2008), NIC (2001), and NOC (2004).
The taxonomic structure of comfort was utilized to create a Portuguese instrument for hospitalized psychiatric patients to test the effectiveness of Guided imagery for increasing comfort ( immediate outcome) and decreasing depression, anxiety, and stress (subsequent outcomes). Repeated measures revealed that the treatment group had significantly improved comfort and decreased depression, anxiety, and stress over time (Apostolo & Kolcaba, 2009). “The theory of comfort describes patient-centered practice and explains how to determine if comfort measures matter to patients, their health, and the viability of institutions.” (Dowd, p.716, 2010).
The theory of comfort from its very beginning has focused on what is germane to nursing. The development of the General Comfort Questionnaire has helped to validate and measure the outcomes of the concepts. It is an easy guide for nurses in planning nursing care. It has also provided a framework for students to organize their assessment and plan of care. In research, the theory provides a way to validate improvement in patient comfort after receiving comforting interventions (Dowd, 2010).The theory has been used to test the effectiveness of specific


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