Nursing Research Paper Sample on Comfort Theory

Comfort Theory


            The comfort theory is an example of a mid-range theory in the practice of nursing and field of research (Peterson & Bredow, 2009). Nursing requires the practioneer to give care to patients to facilitate recovery. Here, theories provide definitive concepts that help the nurses to provide quality care to the clients. As such, the advancement of nursing theories is an importance aspect of developing values and concepts that facilitate recovery of patients. Middle-range theory is an ideal aspect in the nursing practice because it is more real and specific as compared to the grand theories (Peterson & Bredow, 2009). Here, such theories are composed of few concepts and perspectives, which are based on existing and a particular level. The basis of the theory is to underscore the importance of comfort as an important aspect in providing healthcare.As such, the comfort theory is an elaborate mid-range theory to consider because it provides the basis of comfort in giving nursing care. Information is a vital component in the nursing process and this requires the profession to devise ways to ensure the patient provides enough information.  Therefore, selection of a mid-range theory is ideal because it deals with a particular aspect in the nursing process and this increases specialty and quality of nursing g practice in that specific area. During my practice as a nurse, I have elaborately used the concept of comfort in providing care. The experience using this theory has demonstrated that comfort is a major factor in boosting the recovery process a d this is consistent to the conclusion made by Kolcaba when she invented the theory.

            This mid-range theory was developed for about ten years back from 1991-2001 through vigorous research activities and application of the concept. In this regard, the comfort theory has advanced in development from various scholarly journals that have featured in a time since the concepts was formulated and presented by Katherine Kolcaba (Peterson & Bredow, 2009). The evolution of the theory is based on her graduate thesis and a research dissertation, but has since been an area of concern for healthcare practice, study, and education. Her experience with the theory has influenced other nurses to consider comfort a valuable proof based nursing approach. Notably, information derived from the theory has been analyzed in nursing practice, especially in the specialty of psychometric and tentative studies of young women suffering from breast cancer (Peterson & Bredow, 2009). Further, the theory was extensively applied to patients with urinary incontinence problems and clients approaching end of life (Elo et al., 2012). Consequently, the relevance of the theory in nursing practice is demonstrated in its dominance in various nursing orientations including: labor and delivery, gynecology, burns department, and nursing care for clients with mental impairment disabilities. Hence, the theory has advanced nursing practice, especially in the specialty of perianesthesia nurses due to its elaborate care management practices (Elo et al., 2012). This paper will focus on explaining a nursing problem because of the comfort theory and relating the information gained in the theory to provide concluding contributions of comfort in nursing practice.

Description of the nursing problem

            Communication has been always an important part of every organization because it offers a two-way exchange of ideas, expertise, and knowledge. Nursing education is a fundamental area that provides the basis of developing mid-range theories. Literature review has indicated that middle range theories have a significant role to play in the nursing care through giving specific concepts that help the practice. As such, there is a problem in achieving and transmitting the concepts developed by a particular researcher about a specific area of nursing. Here, communication is an important aspect because it will relay the information from one person to the other so that nurse education and research is improved.  A large nursing class comprising of young adults and adult students repeating the units is an ideal example of how communication can be vital for nursing education. Here, the undergraduate students repeating a second degree provide a nurse educator a complex problem to change their attitude as well as improve performance.  Using the comfort theory, the nurse educator can apply specific strategies that would make the students comfortable to change their attitudes and improve performance. Therefore, communication is important in developing the comfort theory to improve nursing care. The nursing problem is how communication can be used to advance nursing education that is a critical area in developing mid-range theories.

            According to Peterson & Bredow (2009), a conversation involving a nurse educator and undergraduate students is ideal for articulating several factors. Firstly, it is used to articulate the needs and feelings of young children. Through communication, the parent will understand the issues affecting the child and the nursery practitioner will get to understand it too. Secondly, communication serves as a mechanism to establish and maintain relationships. Socialization is another major reason why people communicate so that they can interrelate properly (Peterson & Bredow, 2009). In addition, communication is strategic in giving encouragement to demonstrate a sense of being valued among the children. These examples demonstrate how communication can be used to facilitate quality nursing care. However, this can only be possible if information provided in mid-range theories is communicated properly to advance nursing care. In this regard, mid-range theories can be effective in advancing nursing care if all stakeholders understand a typical nursing communication language.  According to Kääriäinen et al (2010) “language is a fundamental to the evolution of all disciplines and within any discipline, selected terminology evolves to become the concepts that denote the specific knowledge domains and methodologies of that discipline” (68).  Various medical problems are on the increase in the contemporary world and this requires certain research activities in mid-range theories to avert the trend. For example, breast cancer cases are a predominant problem in the modern world especially for mother in the developing countries. Through providing information, this problem can be reduced through early cancer screening, but this is dependent on available communication.

Application of the comfort theory

            The theory of comfort can be extensively be used to provide clinical practice protocols that can be followed after evidence is collected for any nursing problem.  The application of the theory is based on a holistic care that revolves around explicit ideology of comfort in the nursing practice. The desirable outcomes in the nursing practice are obtained if the comfort needs are able to trigger a high engagement of health seeking behaviors (March & McCormack, 2009). This will then make the nursing care practice become more effective leading to better organizational performance. Similarly, to achieve a tradition of comfort, the theory cautions nursing organizations that it cannot be solemnly be realized where there is lack of commitment and support. Also, the theory is applied to define required staffing levels and models of an interdisciplinary care-giving system that is ideal in achieving a particular comfort goal (March & McCormack, 2009). Therefore, the theory provides the steps that a nurse should follow while providing the care. This includes determining the comfort needs of the patient that have not been given the preceding system. This is followed by ascertaining a specific intervention approach to achieving the comfort needs. As such, applying the theory in the nursing practice will improve and strengthen the care system altogether.

            The practitioners can practically use this theory in various areas of nursing practice. For example, in practice, the theory outlines a strategic guideline and protocols for giving nursing education. Through emphasis on comfort needs, the nurse educator can effectively handle students and achieve desirable outcomes from the communication plan. In education, the theory provides a very good foundation to study how the major concepts of the theory occur. In the above problem scenario, the theory can be used to understand what types of comfort can be applied to the students. When the educator has specifically understood various types of comfort, he or she will then deduce the comfort needs for his or her disgruntled students. As such, the educator will design a communication plan that will ensure the identified comfort needs are established in the classroom setting. This will prompt the students to engage with the educator more effectively and this will demonstrate the causes of the student’s poor performance and concerns. Here, the educator will have learned the specific information from his clientele and this will be used to develop a proper approach that will ensure all the students are able tom obtain better results to reduce disgruntling and unnecessary concerns.

            Confidentiality of information is one ethical issue during the application of this theory in an undergraduate nursing classroom. Since the composition of the classroom is made up of both young adult and adult students, some information like marriage can be very confidential for individual students. Thus, this can hampers application of the theory towards its strategy to identify the comfort needs. However, comfort provides a desired result, which motivates students to demonstrate a positive outcome towards their nurse educator. Facilitating comfort needs in nursing education is a philanthropic phenomenon that is practical and satisfying to students and nurse educator. Therefore, evaluating the relationship between comfort needs and nursing education serves to provide informatics for organizing students with the objective of achieving desirable performance and satisfaction (Kääriäinen et al., 2010).


            The theory of comfort is extensive in application of inductive reasoning to solve problems in nursing education. In this particular reasoning, a generalization is encouraged after comprehensively observing occurrences through a logical reasoning process. For example, nurse educators who provide and enjoy giving knowledge to students often identify implicit and explicit notions that strengthen their understanding with the students. The phenomenon presented in the theory is because when comfort needs of the students are satisfied, then the learning process is strengthened. Here, comfort is used to provide a desirable communication framework that facilitates effective learning. Several key concepts have been established in this specific theory, which include; healthcare wants, superseding variables, relieve improved comfort, institutional honesty, best strategies, and practices. Comfort represents the intentional nursing action that is given during the learning process that helps provide a better communication environment for engaging students to achieve high performance.


Elo , S., Kääriäinen, M., Isola, A. & Kyngäs, H. (2012). Testing and generalicing the theory of the well-being supportive physical environment of home-dwelling elderly. Hoitotiede. 4(1), 349–361.

Kääriäinen,  M., Kanste, O., Elo, S., Pölkki, T., Miettunen, J. & Kyngäs, H. (2010). Testing and verifying nursing science theory by confirmatory factor analysis. Journal of Advanced Nursing. 67(5),1163–1172.

March, A. & McCormack, D. (2009). Nursing Theory-Directed Healthcare: Modifying Kolcaba’s Comfort Theory as an Institution-Wide Approach. Holistic Nursing Practice; 23(2), 75-80.

Peterson, S.J. & Bredow, T.S. (2009). Middle-Range Theories. Application To Nursing Research. Philadelphia, Pa, USA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.