Katharine Kolcaba

4168 Words Jul 7th, 2012 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,
…show more content…
For example, Kolcaba's definition of health as optimal functioning does not tie in with other concepts in her theory. Functioning is not ever mentioned anywhere in her theoretical definitions. One might expect for Kolcaba to include a perception of comfort in a definition of health. As a second example, Kolcaba (1992) does not describe the Person in much detail. She speaks of the Patient as the recipient of care. Her assumptions suggest that the human being is complex, holistic, and will actively seek to have needs met. Does this mean then that the Person will actively participate in nursing care? How does this type of Person relate to Environment as defined by Kolcaba? What does holistic mean - a unitary being or a multidimensional being? If multidimensional, then what are the dimensions? Her definition of Person lacks the specification that the human is perceptual, which must be true if her definition of Health is to hold up. Health is defined as a perception of functioning. It seems that, at this stage of the theory's development, the concepts of the theory are not firmly grounded in nursing's metaparadigm. However, as a middle-range theory, it is not incumbent on the theorist to address all of nursing but only the segment of nursing that is the focus of the theory. Immediate theory development might include aligning the definition of health with the other definitions and including environment more closely with nursing activities.

Major
Open Document