Katharine Kolcaba Comfort Theory

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Katharine Kolcaba Comfort Theory Essay Sample


The purpose of Katharine Kolcaba’s theory of comfort is to illuminate the significance and need to provide comfort to the patient in the course of care delivery. This involves collaborative and an in-depth assessment of knowledge and determining its relevance and use. Therefore, as a holistic model, the assessment, measurement and evaluation of the patient conditions is strongly driven by the realization of patient comfort. The success of patient care is discovered based on the realization of comfort. In essence, the purpose of the theory of comfort is to emphasize the importance of comfort as both the ultimate and immediate desirable outcome in the course of caring for a patient.

Description of the Theory of Comfort

The Kolcaba Comfort Theory was developed in the 1990s focusing on the three tenets of nursing; research, education and health practice. The basis of the theory is placement of comfort at the forefront of nursing practice, thus patient care (Ponte et al, 2015). Developed by Katharine Kolcaba, it drew its support from multidisciplinary nursing, thus extending to English, medicine, economics nursing, psychology and psychiatry among others (Pinto et al, 2016). Profoundly, Kolcaba emphasized that comfort could be understood threefold; transcendence, ease and relief. The interplay of the three comforts involved meeting the patient needs for relief. Conclusively, the comforts also alluded to addressing the broader aspect of a holistic nursing.

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Rationale for Selection of Comfort Theory

Selection of this theory was influenced by its holistic approach in understanding the patient needs and providing an avenue, which can be used to address such needs. For instance, in emphasizing the significance of the theory, Kolcaba (2015) states that comfort is achievable when the interplay of relief, ease and transcendence is realized. As a result, this takes into consideration a broader perspective of nursing. Relief is a factor comfort. In its holistic care, the comfort theory considers the instrumental role of families, institutions, practitioners and communities in the ultimate realization of comfort in the course of care delivery.

Implementation of Comfort Theory in Medical Surgery

Kolcaba’s theory will work with medical surgery through assessment and measuring the severity of pain using the pain scale. The findings will be necessary in determining and subsequent prescription of the appropriate medication to reduce the pain, hence achieving comfort. More importantly, post-post operatives care is usually characterized by receiving relief comfort, therefore, pain management involves reflects a core element of the theory; easing (Gnatta et al, 2015). With the focus on comfort, the theory’s emphasis on realizing a state of contentment is equally strengthened by calming the patient anxiety, pre and post-surgery (Boudiab and Kolcaba, 2015). Essentially, nurses and other medical practitioners are called upon as established in the theory to conduct assessment, measurement and evaluation of comfort as it relates to pain.

Barriers to Implementation of Comfort Theory

Implementation of comfort theory is undermined by the existence of language barrier. Attaining comfort requires the persistent coaching, therapeutic and keen observation of the patient needs (Seyedfatemi et al, 2015). Secondly, given that the theory recognizes that comfort extends beyond health care facility to the family set up, without a proper functioning family, it becomes impossible to implement the theory in its entirety. Lastly, according to Kolcaba (2015) the outcome of the theory is nurse-sensitive. In other words, the number of nurses in a healthcare facility will determine the success of the theory since it presupposes that nurses spend a lot of time with the patient. Overcoming these barriers requires that nurses spend more time with the patients, hence being sensitive on their needs and requirements. Next, a nurse should also have an interpreter in situations where the patient’s language presents a communication barrier. Lastly, it is important to involve any family member or a colleague in the course of patient care. Sensitivity to patient concerns underlines the emphasis made by the comfort theory.

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The purpose of Kolcaba’s Comfort Theory is to emphasize the importance of comfort as the desirable and ultimate outcome in the course of patient care. Katharine Kolcaba’s comfort theory is critical in the nursing practice given its focus on the ultimate objective of patient care; realizing patient comfort. Kolcaba’s theory provides a broader and integrative understanding of patient care with respect to easing pain, transcendence and relief. Patients desire to be comfort irrespective of their medical situations and Kolcaba’s theory strongly emphasizes it.