Friday, July 09, 2010

A Closer Look at Kolcaba's Conceptual Framework

“I hope that nurses will collectively move boldly into a future where knowing about, and doing something about human needs for comfort and relief from pain are clearly within nurses’ realm.” – P. Chinn (Kolcaba, 2003, p.19)

Providing comfort is definitely within the nurses’ realm today. Nurses are the ones in direct contact with their patients, providing relief from certain discomforts, continuously assessing, monitoring and providing care that will ensure the client is at ease. According to Kolcaba, “Comfort is the desirable state that nurses would want for their patients.” 

(click on the picture to enlarge)

The conceptual framework shows the different concepts linked together in nursing care. Through years of analyzing and working on the midrange theory of comfort, Kolcaba came to three technical senses of comfort. Relief is provided when a specific need of a patient was met. Ease is the state where the patient is calm and contented. Finally, transcendence is when the patient went beyond the comfort need. Health care needs, nursing interventions and intervening variables are factors to consider so that the goal of enhanced comfort of the patient can be achieved in all the context of the human experience which are physical, psychospiritual, sociocultural and environmental. Once enhanced comfort is attained, the patient is moved to taking part in steps to make his condition better. It is also true the other way around. When an individual becomes proactive in his health care, enhanced comfort is maintained. Another concept that was incorporated into the framework is that of institutional integrity. If people are inspired to do better in terms of health care, it will increase utilization of health care facilities and services leading to continuous assessment of the health care system to meet the demands. This will in turn result to improvements made to the system. (Kolcaba, 2003)

The latter part was included because the comfort framework can be applied to other health care disciplines and will bring about holistic care for the patients.

Nurses play a central role in the provision of comfort. They are the ones who give comfort measures so clients can feel relief, ease and transcendence. It is time to be bold and give comfort to those who need it.

Kolcaba, K. (2003). Comfort theory and practice: A vision for holistic health care and research. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.


  1. I am Mrs.Ponnambily Jobin, working as Asst.Lecturer in College of Nursing. This is to bring to your kind information that I have published a conceptual model (under mid range theory) in 2015, addressing 'child sex abuse' as a problem domain. Now, I am working on a grand theory focusing on 'Inter-sensory Perception in Nursing Care'. I have attempted to develop a classification of senses based on a specific criteria, which highlights sixth sense, in addition to five traditional senses such as vision, hearing, smell, touch and taste. I would like to gather suggestions from you to accept or to refute the theory. I humbly request you to have a response on 'what may be the sixth sense, which can be applicable in nursing?'.
    Please visit:-

  2. Well said! Relief is the only need of a patient from the doctors and nurse. So, the hospital and healthcare should be maintained carefully with the expert team of healthcare professionals or key opinion leaders.
    KOL management | Key Opinion Leader Management