Essay Katharine Kolcaba's Theory of Comfort

4224 Words Sep 25th, 2005 17 Pages
Katharine Kolcaba's Theory of Comfort

Kelly Ferreira

Summer, 2004.

In the early part of the 20th century, comfort was the central goal of nursing and medicine. Comfort was the nurse's first consideration. A "good nurse" made patients comfortable. In the early 1900's, textbooks emphasized the role of a health care provider in assuring emotional and physical comfort and in adjusting the patient's environment. For example, in 1926, Harmer advocated that nursing care be concerned with providing an atmosphere of comfort.

In the 1980's, a modern inquiry of comfort began. Comfort activities were observed. Meanings of comfort were explored. Comfort was conceptualized as multidimensional (emotional, physical,
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Health care needs include physical, psychological, spiritual, social and environmental needs. The needs are made known by verbal/non verbal communication or by signs that the nurse monitors.

2. Comfort measures: There are interventions by the nurse that are meant to address specific comfort needs of the one receiving the care. There are three types of comfort measures:

a. Technical care: reduce pain and maintain homeostasis

b. Coaching: relieves anxiety, instills hope, gives reassurance, listens, assists in planning culturally sensitive measures

c. Comfort food for the soul strengthens patients in intangible, memorable ways that patients do not expect. They fortify patients through such actions as back massage, guided imagery, music therapy, reminiscence and hand-holding. 3. Intervening variables: There are variables that are connected and communicate with each other to change or influence how the person sees total comfort. These variables are identified as: past experiences, age, attitudes, state of emotion, system of support, prognosis, finances and the totality of elements in the person's experience.

4. Comfort: It is the state that is experienced and perceived by the recipients of comfort measures. The comfort experience can be in four contexts:

a. Physical: pertaining to bodily sensations that may or may not be related to medical diagnoses

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