Theory of Comfort by Katherine Kolcaba

Topic: Nursing
Words: 1704 Pages: 6


Kolcaba’s Theory of Comfort is a Middle-Range nursing model that advocates for patients’ comfort. Middle-range nursing theories have a narrower emphasis and directly link nursing modes and various nursing practices. Middle-Range hypotheses have concepts that are less conceptual and more easily tested. Sometimes these theories try to explain something that happens in medical practice. Patient satisfaction heavily influences the value of treatment. It is critical to promote physical comfort to provide a positive patient experience (Pinto et al., 2017). This goal is why patient-centered care frameworks focus on it. While convenience can be defined as pain management and physical suffering, limiting it to that aspect ignores proof that comfort encompasses more than just those two things. However, nurses implementing Kolcaba’s notion need to address certain challenges that might undermine their efforts. The paper gives a detailed description of Kolcaba’s theory and its rationale. Further, it discusses the barriers to its implementation and how they can be overcome.

Theory Description

Katherine Kolcaba’s concept of “comfort” falls somewhere in the center of the theoretical spectrum. Models in the middle range have a smaller variety of ideas and a smaller scope. In contrast, Kolcaba’s philosophy is an upper mid-range hypothesis. Therefore, it is more generic and abstract. Kolcaba originally proposed this ideology in the 1990s. In terms of health care practice, teaching, and research, it’s a middle-of-the-road theory. This hypothesis can elevate patient convenience to the level of priority it deserves within the healthcare system. The model predicts that receiving nursing care will lead to immediate satisfaction since patients will be more comfortable (Puchi et al., 2018). According to the Doctrine of Comfort, patients can be any of the following: individuals, households, institutions, or entire communities.

There are several aspects of the person’s surroundings that a caregiver or valued one can control to make the patient more comfortable. Health is described as the ability of the patient, their group, society, or nation to define their optimal functioning. When a patient’s pleasure needs are assessed, nursing care plans are developed and implemented. The patient’s satisfaction is then evaluated after the nursing strategies have been implemented. Nurses analyze patients’ comfort needs, devise nursing interventions to meet those needs, and then reassess those patients’ comfort levels once the measures have been implemented, indicating that nursing encompasses all of this. Interestingly, dementia and Alzheimer’s patients were initially the target audience for Katherine Kolcaba’s doctrine (Pinto et al., 2017). This theorist used logical reasoning to come up with her idea. She made use of a variety of reasoning techniques, including assumption, induction, and reduction. To begin, Kolcaba drew on a previous framework penned by Henry Murray.

The Rationale for Selecting Kolcaba’s Theory of Comfort

The structure, management, arrangement, and look of the enclosed environment can impact the comfortability of patients, guests, and personnel. The requirements of various populations may vary due to variances in activities, length of stay, and condition. Hospital designers need satisfaction data and data on how different elements are thought to be important to create hospitals that positively promote the convenience and contentment of all residents. As a result, assessing the patient’s comfort level before surgery is critical to providing better patient care. Individuals, for example, may experience anxiety as a result of invasive surgery. Many individuals feel depressed and threatened throughout the prehospital setting. During this time, patients are anxious about their health, the program’s outcome, or their apprehensions about anesthesia. The patient’s dread and worry lead to physiological and psychological difficulties and a decrease in their level of well-being, indicating that humans require pleasure as a matter of survival. When people are ill, they look to medical professionals for assistance to ensure their well-being.

Thus, Kolcaba’s concept provides intuitions about comfort, considered to be multidimensional and transient. Other than the absence of pain, the supporters of this comprehensive and educative theory argue that any factors influence comfort hence the need for the health establishments to consider incorporating the principles of the middle-aged theory. Medical practitioners take the time and effort necessary to ensure their well-being and why it is important (Puchi et al., 2018). It also provides a new interpretation of the word “comfort” that hospital administrators and clinicians may use to steer practices and quality measures to improve patient comfort while reducing stress. Although all the Middle-Range models are applicable in the health system, the study’s focus on patients’ comfort makes Kolcaba’s Theory of Comfort.

Implementation Plan for the Model

Implementing the programs and initiatives that make up the workplace wellness program follows the completion of evaluation and planning. Practical application based on current research is logical in theory, arguing that putting it into action is difficult. A program’s execution must include the necessary phases to put primary prevention initiatives in place and guarantee their accessibility to caregivers. Critically, a clear and straightforward message is required when discussing objectives, missions, or other strategies (Nural & Alkan, 2018). The health department’s allies must understand the practices and why they are critical to the company. Best practices should be communicated to essential individuals to be held accountable for putting them into action. Managers are in charge of determining which staff are in charge of putting the practices into action. There needs to be a strategy for holding people accountable that can be seen and measured.

The nursing theories’ Implementation begins by informing all the nursing professionals about the proposed model, including the specific factors that determined the decision. During this time, the medics are presented with evidence-based practice prototypes to act as the blueprints for implementing the proposed concept. Also, policymakers need to consider the principles of the new model to introduce new nursing guidelines that endeavor to promote the comfort of the patients that come into contact with the health sector (Wensley et al., 2017). When it comes time to put the plan into action, the model is an excellent resource for the nurses. The model will be used again to ensure that the change is appropriately reviewed and incorporated into the institution’s standards.

Finally, the entrusted policy implementers need to devise new approaches to evaluate the successful incorporation of the proposed notion. Besides the electronic survey, the team can review the associated procedures, protocols, and revised policies using the hypothesis as the guide (Nural & Alkan, 2018). Notably, the team needs to conduct regular studies on alternative approaches that can enable the team to incorporate the model’s principles into the nursing procedures effectively.

Barriers to Implementation and How to Handle them

Every company can develop effective methods for identifying and executing change by understanding the impediments to it. Changing from one phase to the next for the betterment of business is an essential part of any business. It is discouraging to put effort into developing a company’s strategic plan to have it fail. If specialists are in charge of running a company, they must know what kinds of things stand between stakeholders and their hopes for achievement:

Poor leadership is one of the challenges that might undermine the successful implementation of the proposed nursing theory. If one is considered a bad leader, they are not self-aware and cannot control their emotional responses. They are also not willing to contemplate the interests of others or help them become better leaders. It is not only the official in control who shows poor leadership; it might be anyone on the team. Also, senior executives must be on the same page so everyone understands a clear message. Otherwise, contradictory signals will be delivered, with the lower-level leadership may launch plans for accomplishment whenever there is devotion at the intermediate level and cohesiveness at the top (Farokhzadian et al., 2018). Thus, all stakeholders, including the nursing department’s leaders, need to learn about the complexity surrounding the nursing theory to ensure that they play active roles in facilitating the success of the nursing proposals.

Inadequate training is another barrier that might threaten the successful implementation of the nursing theory. Without sufficient training for personnel who will be expected to implement a new strategic plan, it will never get implemented. There are various reasons why organizations cut back on providing their employees with quality corporate and learning experiences, as detailed in a previous blog post. There are numerous modern choices for inconspicuous but very effective training (Farokhzadian et al., 2018). To avoid wasting money, find the best training option that prevents downtime, improves skills or learns new ones, and provides follow-up to ensure staff use what they’ve learned every day. Thus, enlightening all the key players about their distinct roles through the implementation phase will guarantee their success.

Lack of communication hinders the successful implementation of the nursing model. Any new plan’s execution necessitates effective communication. It is necessary to start a communications strategy from the top and work your way down. A successful organization has open, honest communication as a quality, and it is a prerequisite for any major rollout. When there is a communication breakdown, teams become disconnected, and there is a lot of uncertainty. A team’s resistance to change is frequent, especially when the team has been operating together for a long time. Refusal to cooperate among groups, on the other hand, will doom the feasibility of execution. From the start, communicate clearly with everyone about their new job, the value of their contribution, and the overall benefits of a shift in their daily routines (Farokhzadian et al., 2018). Help everyone realize that putting up with a little discomfort now will pay huge dividends in the long run. Thus, investing in high-tech communication tools could guarantee the success of the implementation endeavor.


With its inclusion of concepts and relations, ability to be used in various clinical settings and encounters, ability to draw on various sources, and ability to be evaluated and quantified, the Comfort Theory falls into the broad-scope medium-range theory category. The nurse needs to consider this model’s principles to guarantee the comfort of the patients and other key nursing players. Specifically, the entrusted policymakers need to consider the guidelines when enacting the nursing policies to ensure that patients’ welfare is guaranteed. The entrusted key players need to consider alternative approaches to identify and address the specific challenges that threaten the successful implementation of the nursing model.


Farokhzadian, J., Nayeri, N. D., & Borhani, F. (2018). The long way ahead to achieve an effective patient safety culture: challenges perceived by nurses. BMC Health Services Research, 18(1), 1-13.

Nural, N., & Alkan, S. (2018). Identifying the factors affecting comfort and the comfort levels of patients hospitalized in the coronary care unit. Holistic Nursing Practice, 32(1), 35-42.

Pinto, S., Fumincelli, L., Mazzo, A., Caldeira, S., & Martins, J. C. (2017). Comfort, well-being and quality of life: Discussion of the differences and similarities among the concepts. Porto Biomedical Journal, 2(1), 6-12.

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.

Wensley, C., Botti, M., McKillop, A., & Merry, A. F. (2017). A framework of comfort for practice: An integrative review identifying the multiple influences on patients’ experience of comfort in healthcare settings. International Journal for Quality in Health Care, 29(2), 151-162.

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