Kolcaba Theory of Comfort

KolcabaTheory of Comfort


KolcabaTheory of Comfort

Thetheory falls within the discipline of nursing and was created in the1990s by Katherine Kolcaba. The theory’s assumption is that it hasthe capacity of restoring healthcare to its rightful position ofcomfort. The theorist observed that comfort subsisted in three majorforms including relief, ease, as well as transcendence. She wentahead to give four descriptions in which a patient is likely to bemade comfortable (March &amp McCormack 2009). These include physicalcomfort, psychological, environmental, and socio-cultural. The aim ofany healthcare professional, according to the theorist, is to makethe patient comfortable. If the healthcare practitioner meets thecomfort desires of a patient, for instance, release of postoperativepain through the administration of arranged analgesia, the experienceis likely to be felt in the relief senses (Kolcaba, &amp Steiner,2000). If comfort is achieved in the state of contentment, comfort isalso felt in the ease sense. With specialized care, the patient ismost likely to feel comfortable to an extent of managing thechallenging situation, something she referred to as transcendence.


Nursing:entails the procedure undertaken to assess the comfort needs of thepatient. This entails development and implementation of the needednursing strategies, as well as evaluating the comfort of the patientafter application of nursing tactics. Assessment of any conditionmight be either objective or subjective (Kolcaba, 2003).

Health:is viewed as an optimal functioning, but it depends on how thefamily, group or the patient perceives it.

Patientsor persons:might be individuals, institutions, communities, or the family thatis in dire need of the services of the healthcare professional.

Theenvironment:is anything that surrounds the patient, including families andfriends.

Definitionof Major Concepts

HealthCare Needs:These special needs are important to understanding some of the issuesfacing the patient. They are to be identified by the patient him orherself through the help of the family.

InterveningVariables:these include the factors that do not have the capability ofundergoing a transformation over a specified period. Unfortunately,healthcare professionals have very little control over these factors,and they include prognosis, the financial conditions of the patient,and the support that the patient receives from the family and thepublic in general.

Comfort:this concept is central in explaining and applying the theory, and itstands for the immediately desirable result of care.

Healthseeking behaviour:refers to the tendency of the affected person to seek medicalattention or help from the professionals.

Institutionalintegrity:are some of the values that the caregiving organization shouldpossess. In the same way, the health care professional must followthe rules and regulations that the institution sets in serving itsclients. They include the core values, the financial position,performance of the institution at the lower level in the villages, aswell as globally.

Relationshipbetween the Concepts

Thevarious concepts in the theory are related in a number of ways. Theway in which the four major ones: environment, nursing, persons, andhealth are related will be discussed. Comfort is the principlecomfort and the role of any caregiver, according to the theory, is toensure the client achieves it. However, this has to be done followingthe institutional integrity principles, such as setting specificvalues to ensure the client gives information without influence. Thecaregiver has to take note of the intervening variables, such asfinancial positions, which might make the client not giveinformation. As already implied, the client should give details ofthe problem to facilitate analysis. The desires and wishes of theclient are referred to as the healthcare needs in this theory. Thoseclose to the client, play a role in facilitating his or her comforthence they have to be included in offering professional services.

Strengthsand Weaknesses

Kolcaba’stheory of conform is simply implying it can be applied in a simpleway as compared to other theories. Additionally, it is a common senseapproach suggesting that caregivers are able to identify the majorconcepts easily and apply them in solving the problems facing theclient. Though its strategic intervention mechanisms, the patient ismade comfortable hence adapting faster to the stressful event. Thetheory encourages patients and their families to take part fully inthe process to facilitate better incomes

Oneof the greatest weaknesses of the theory pertains to the explanationof the concept comfort. In this case, the caregivers will have anadditional responsibility of explaining what the concept means beforemoving on to set strategies. Comfort is an ambiguous terminology thatmeans different things to different people. Therefore, assuming thatit can be interpreted universally to mean pleasure and contentment isa mistake that makes the theory weak.


Kolcaba,K. (2003). Comforttheory and practice: a vision for holistic health care and research.New York: Springer Publishing Company.

Kolcaba,K., &amp Steiner, R. (2000). Empirical evidence for the nature ofholistic comfort. Journalof Holistic Nursing, 18(1),46-62.

March,A, &amp McCormack, D (2009). NursingTheory-Directed Healthcare: ModifyingKolcaba`s Comfort Theory as an Institution-Wide Approach. HolisticNursing Practice, 23.2,75-80.