Further, the paper correlates the four contexts of comfort and integrates this into the larger comfort concept of the model. Other efforts have also been suggested on the relevance and applicability of the theory to the modern nursing practice, while pointing out limitation of the theory and offering suggestions for wider health care application of the theory.
This paper sums up the discussions by highlighting the focus of comfort theory and relating it to its proposed modification so that it can enhance health care provision to larger healthcare framework and not just on nursing practitioners. According to Florence Nightingale, the primary concept of nursing is to place a patient in the best possible conditions for nature to act upon them. Virginia Henderson also defines nursing as the unique function of assisting individuals, either well or ill, in performing activities that contribute to enhance health, recovery, or peaceful death that the individual would perform without assistance if they had adequate will, strength, and knowledge. (Kolcaba, 2003) Moreover, these assistive functions are performed in a manner that enables the individual to gain rapid independence. According to research and studies in the past, majority of patients attest to provision of care with kindness by most nurses. The relationship between nursing care and comfort dates back to the early 1900s with the central focus on moral imperative. By 1903s, specialists in the nursing field perceived comfort as a strategy for attaining aspects of nursing care. By 1960s, comfort was a minor goal in nursing care, as physical aspects were dominant while emotional comfort was gaining importance. In 1990, Kolcaba’s Comfort Theory was fully dominant, with emphasis on childbirth pain, pain management, and palliative care and end of life (Kolcaba, 2003). Conditions in the nursing care sector such as loss and suffering of patients with complex medical care, pain scores of 10/10 even with increase in medication, and personal frustration and inability to change the situation contributed to the adoption of comfort as the foundation of nursing care. There exists universal consensus among the health practitioners that nurses’ role entirely should focus on caring for the patients and making them feel comfortable. Comfort for patient’s forms the discussions that Katherine Kolcaba anchors her discussions on Comfort Theory of Nursing. This theory sets out new paradigms in the nursing sector providing new insights into nursing as a profession and expectation of patients when being cared for by nurses. The Comfort Theory: Background From a bibliographical perspective, Kolcaba traces her childhood days to Ohio where she had always wanted to pursue nursing. To actualize her dreams, she took up a volunteering nursing job at Candy stripper at tender age of 14 to gain insights into the nursing profession. Her nursing education traces back to St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing and Case Western Reserve University being the first Registered nurse for a Master’s degree with special interest in gerontology in 1975. It is during her post graduate studies