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Kolcaba’s Comfort Theory for a Family Nurse Practitioner

The research process is one of the sources that derive theory development through the study of concepts and their related propositions. Notably, the research process answers many research questions and derives other research questions depending on the research outcomes. In the context of a study about Family Nurse Practitioner, we can derive relevant research questions that will guide us in the study. Some relevant research questions include:

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  • What are the core roles, barriers, and motivations of family nurse practitioners?
  • What are the factors that enhance the implementation of the family nurse practitioner’s role?
  • What are the business and clinical processes that influence the practices of the family nurse practitioners?
  • How do family nurse practitioners and physicians collaborate in giving satisfactory primary care?
  • How does customer service influence patient satisfaction under the care of family nurse practitioners?
  • What is the frequency and implications for family nurse practitioners?
  • How does family nurse practitioners relate to advanced practice and professional nursing?
  • How does family nurse practitioners design and implement their roles?

On the other hand, the research process derives answers that would generate theory. In this case, answers, which relate to family nurse practitioners and relevant theories, may include the fact that better treatment outcomes motivate both the family nurse practitioner and the patient. Moreover, there is a need for effective collaboration between the family nurse practitioners and the physicians in offering primary healthcare. Family nurse practitioners play significant roles that include conducting physical examinations, interpreting health data, designing and adopting a treatment plan, referring the patients to the physicians, and following the patient’s recovery strategy. These answers would generate theory in the study of family nurse practitioners.

Kolcaba’s comfort theory is applicable in pediatric nursing. Kolcaba’s theory is a moderate theory in pediatric nursing, health research, and health education (Nursing Theory, 2013). The theory came to application in the 1990s and has the capacity to advocate for comfort in primary healthcare. Indeed, comfort is one of the fundamental expectations in pediatric nursing. Notably, Katharine Kolcaba conducted a concept analysis of comfort in relation to nursing and other medical disciplines. The analysis derived transcendence, relief, and ease as forms of comfort (Nursing Theory, 2013). It also derived four contexts of holistic human experience that included physical, sociocultural, psychospiritual, and environmental (Nursing Theory, 2013). Ideally, the results of the analysis led to the formulation of a taxonomic structure that defines Kolcaba’s comfort theory (Nursing Theory, 2013).

In supporting the comfort theory, Kolcaba relied on certain values, evidence, or existing knowledge. He observes that a holistic nursing art derives comfort and assessing comfort as a holistic outcome would be fundamental in measuring the effectiveness of comforting strategies (Kolcaba &DiMarco, 2005). He relates this with the fact that meeting the comfort needs of a patient leads to an experience of comfort, which manifests in the form of relief (Nursing Theory, 2013). He also relies on the knowledge that comfort is a transcultural and interdisciplinary concern that most pediatric nurses use in assessing the outcomes of a treatment (Kolcaba &DiMarco, 2005). Moreover, he depends on the knowledge that in guiding a nursing practice, there is need for a compatible, understandable, and simple nursing theory (Kolcaba, Tilton, & Drouin, 2006). Notably, the comfort theory is universal.

In writing the theory, Kolcaba drew his motivation from the need to derive comfort to all patients, the notion of comfort as a holistic outcome, and the universality of comfort. Moreover, the potential of comfort to exist in physical, sociocultural, psychospiritual, and environmental contexts equally motivated him (Nursing Theory, 2013). Ultimately, the ability of the comfort theory to address human needs was also a source of motivation for Kolcaba.


Kolcaba K., & DiMarco MA. (2005). Comfort Theory and its application to pediatric nursing. Pediatric Nursing Journal, 31(3):187-94.

Kolcaba, K., Tilton C., & Drouin C. (2006). Comfort Theory: a unifying framework to enhance the practice environment. Journal of Nursing Administration, 36(11):538-44.

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Nursing Theory. (2013). Kolcaba’s Theory of Comfort.

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