Kolcaba’s Theory of Comfort: Pain Management

Topic: Nursing
Words: 561 Pages: 8


Chosen Theory: Kolcaba’s theory of comfort

Emphasizing comfort in nursing care (Nichols, 2018).

Issue: Pain management

Nurse practitioner specialty: Family Nurse Practitioner

Kolcaba’s Theory of Comfort

The Comfort Theory was designed by Katharine Kolcaba in 1990

Comfort is supporting an individual’s needs, providing calmness, and desired outcomes

The theory’s three levels:

  • Relief
  • Ease
  • Transcendence

The Comfort Theory’s Dimensions

The objective of nursing care is comfort

The Comfort Theory assists in enhancing nursing practice

The theory’s four dimensions:

  • Physical: exercising, nutrition, general health
  • Psychospiritual: psychology, spirituality, and morals
  • Environmental: climate, safety, noise
  • Sociocultural: family, finances, networks

Theory’s Relevance to Family Nurse Practitioners

The Comfort Theory assists in:

  • Providing holistic, person-centered nursing care
  • Incorporating family members into the care plan
  • Assessing patients’ comfort levels
  • Improving health outcomes

Pain Management

Patients suffering from pain compromise physical and psychological health

Pain management is vital for family nurse practitioners

The lack of training and information regarding pain management negatively influences effective treatment plan implementation

Non-Pharmacological Pain Management

Positive treatment relationships between nurses and patients necessitate the cultivation of trust

Integrating family members

Awareness of the patients’ needs diversity

Extensive training

Enhancing the nurse-patient interaction via obtaining additional information about patients

Non-Pharmacological Techniques

Used to treat emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and sociocultural aspects of pain

  • Breathing techniques
  • Massaging
  • Positioning
  • Music therapy
  • Nutrition
  • Exercising
  • Relaxation

Barriers to implementation of non-pharmacological pain management:

  • Lack of knowledge, experience, and time


  • Include non-pharmacological pain treatment strategies in nursing curricula
  • Encourage ongoing education and training

Evidence-Based Practice: Children after Surgery

The Comfort Theory:

  • Decreases children’s pain and anxiety after surgery
  • Boost satisfaction in children and their families
  • Removes emotional anguish and hemodynamic instability
  • Should be suggested to nurses as an efficient evidence-based practice

Evidence-Based Practice: Children with Cancer

The Comfort Theory:

  • Allows to offer physical comfort and decrease emotional distress
  • Offers unique and effective interventions for pain management
  • Such as asking kids to play and draw together

Evidence-Based Practice: Reducing Labor Pain

The Comfort Theory:

  • Provides comfort during labor
  • Decreases fear and anxiety
  • Heat treatment and massage increase women’s comfort levels
  • Proper pain management ensures relief in pregnant women (Türkmen & Oran, 2020).

Evidence-Based Practice: Aromatherapy

The Comfort Theory:

  • Aromatherapy is an effective therapy for discomfort, anxiety, and stress
  • Lavender essential oils have shown effectiveness in alleviating pain
  • Aromatherapy increases patients’ comfort during local anesthetic injections and dry needling procedures (Kasar et al., 2020).

Evidence-Based Practice: Psychological Nursing Care

The Comfort Theory:

  • Psychological nursing care is vital to increasing patients’ comfort

Nurses should:

  • Respect patients’ requirements, experiences, and feelings
  • Maintain records of patients’ psychological states
  • Encourage and motivate patients and families to engage actively

Conclusion: The Theory of Comfort and Pain Management

The primary positive effect of nursing care is comfort

Kolcaba’s comfort theory divides comfort into three stages: relief, ease, and transcendence

Physical, psychospiritual, environmental, and sociocultural are the four theory’s crucial dimensions

The comfort theory is an excellent technique for alleviating pain and improving patient comfort

Conclusion: Evidence-Based Practices

Non-pharmacological interventions are effective: breathing techniques, music therapy, nutrition, sports, and relaxation

The comfort theory increases satisfaction in children and their families

Examples of the evidence-based practices:

  • Heat therapy and massage for pregnant women
  • Aromatherapy during injections and dry needling
  • Creative interventions for children with cancer

Examples of the evidence-based practices:

  • Heat therapy and massage for pregnant women
  • Aromatherapy during injections and dry needling
  • Creative interventions for children with cancer


Ebrahimpour, F., & Hoseini, A. S. S. (2018). Suggesting a practical theory to oncology nurses. Journal of Palliative Care. Web.

Kasar, K. S., Yildirim, Y., Senuzun Aykar, F., Uyar, M., Sagin, F. G., & Atay, S. (2020). Effect of inhalation aromatherapy on pain, anxiety, comfort, and cortisol levels during trigger point injection. Holistic Nursing Practice, 34(1), 57–64. Web.

Khaleghi, M., Fomani, F. K., & Hoseini, A. S. S. (2022). The effect of the comfort care model on distress, pain, and hemodynamic parameters in infants after congenital heart defect surgery. Journal of Neonatal Nursing. Web.

Khalil, N. S. (2018). Critical care nurses’ use of non-pharmacological pain management methods in Egypt. Applied Nursing Research, 44, 33–38. Web.

Lafond, D. A., Bowling, S., Fortkiewicz, J. M., Reggio, C., & Hinds, P. S. (2019). Integrating the Comfort Theory™ into pediatric primary palliative care to improve access to care. Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing, 21(5), 382–389. Web.

Munkombwe, W. M., Petersson, K., & Elgán, C. (2020). Nurses’ experiences of providing non‐pharmacological pain management in palliative care: A qualitative study. Journal of Clinical Nursing. Web.

Nichols, T. (2018). Comfort as a multidimensional construct for pain management. Creating Nursing, 24(2), 88-98. Web.

Puchi, C., Paravic-Klijn, T., & Salazar, A. (2018). The Comfort Theory as a theoretical framework applied to a clinical case of hospital at home. Holistic Nursing Practice, 32(5), 228–239. Web.

Samarkandi, O. A. (2018). Knowledge and attitudes of nurses toward pain management. Saudi Journal of Anaesthesia, 12(2), 220–226. Web.

Türkmen, H., & Oran, N. T. (2020). Massage and heat application on labor pain and comfort: A quasi-randomized controlled experimental study. EXPLORE, 17(15), 438-445. Web.

Verklan, M. T. (2020). To comfort always—one role of the nurse and midwife. Journal of Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing, 34(3), 283–284. Web.

Zhang, W., An, Y., Xiu, H., Dou, C., Wang, Z., Wei, Y., Gu, T, Leng, M., & Wei, H. (2021). Applying a psychological nursing care quality evaluation index in hospitalized patients: A pilot study. Nursing Forum. Web.

Diversity in the Nursing Workforce: Empowerment
Nursing Education Program Evaluation