Theory-Practice Gap Paper

Theory-Practice Gap Paper

Visual Representation of Scenario

Kolcaba’s Theory of Concept
Through the theory, healthcare practitioners deliver quality care in provisions to the underlying knowledge that patients respond to complex situations holistically if given comfort.




Comfort is an integral aspect of holistic healing.
Nursing Practitioners, while delivering care to patients who suffer from complex ailments, offer their patients the comfort which they much need for the ultimate purpose of better outcomes.


Kolcaba’s Comfort Theory

Kolcaba’s theory describes comfort as a basic need for all human beings, especially when facing illness. Physicians use it to gain transcendence, ease, and relief when taking care of patients suffering from all manner of ailments. In this regard, think of comfort as a means to enhance the process of providing care to patients suffering from all manner of ailments. The comfort theory was developed during the 90s’. This theory is considered a middle-range nursing theory that is designated for research, nursing practice, and education. According to the provisions of this theory, the three types of patient comfort include ease, relief, and transcendence (Tabah, Haryanto & Nihayati, 2020 Theory-Practice Gap Paper).

The Relationship between Kolcaba’s Comfort Theory, Research, and Practice

According to the provisions of Kolcaba’s theoretical framework, comfort is a subconscious human need, especially when facing stressful health situations. Support groups and families might offer some little comfort, but there is a certain level of comfort that is usually needed, and this comfort is usually best identified and provided by a qualified nursing practitioner. The nursing practitioner then implements various measures to attain the comfort that the patient needs to attain his or her optimal health. Kolcaba’s theory of comfort gives a very comprehensive explanation of how comfort is a subconscious and fundamental human need when it comes to gaining transcendence relief and ease, especially in healthcare situations that are stressful. Essentially, comfort improves the health-seeking behaviors of family members, nurses, and patients.

The various elements that makeup comfort include: freedom from fear of threat, fit, and environment. All of these elements play a significant role in attaining comfort. It is common knowledge that human beings show holistic responses to complex stimuli such as comfort. Think of comfort as a desirable patient outcome that is paramount in the discipline of nursing. Technically, human beings strive to attain or meet comfort needs. If the nursing practitioner meets the patient’s comfort needs, their patient outcomes are strengthened.

Kolcaba’s theory of comfort is applicable in a variety of nursing practice settings. As mentioned in earlier sections, this theory can be applied in nursing homes, hospitals, and any other health-related public agencies (Vo, 2021). This theory is also applicable to all health-related problems in patient populations of all ages. Most importantly, this theory is applicable to diverse cultural groups. In an industrial setting, the comfort theory is applicable to every patient that is either in the outpatient unit or inpatient unit. Unknowingly and knowingly, this theory is applicable to all patients by healthcare staff of all levels, from managers to housekeepers.

The various varieties in which nurses embrace for the ultimate objective of obtaining comfort. Some of the most common examples of those means include: offering a helping hand, listening to patients concerns and needs, smiling, welcoming patients with positive energy, acknowledging a patient’s presence, and providing an element of good vibes depending on the situation (Oliveira et al., 2020). Sometimes, healthcare providers go the extra mile of providing clothes, a meal, or talking to newborns, maintaining brightness or darkness in rooms depending on patient needs, and even administering pain-relieving medications.

Patients who go to healthcare organizations have one sole purpose: to seek medical attention with the hope of resolving their health-related conditions. The fundamental concept outline in the comfort theory is to establish the health care needs present in patients or families. This theory, in particular, lays the foundation for clinical information systems like admission databases. When patient information is fed into the database, the admission clerk usually determines the disposition of the patient as well as his or her needs.

In most healthcare facilities, admission clerks usually accompany the patients and family to their designated units of treatment. This simple act of courtesy sows a seed of comfort to the patient or the family, and they get a feeling of security that they are not alone in a strange environment. The moment they get to the treatment unit, the patients are handed over to the nursing practitioner who mans the unit. As an extra comfort measure, the nursing practitioners offer a warm welcome which adds another layer to the kind of comfort the patient is receiving from the health care facility. Thereafter, all manners of interaction with every staff are meant to create an element of comfort, which plays a significant role in the speedy healing and recovery of patients.

Gaps in Kolcaba’s Comfort Theory

There is a definite gap when it comes to the nursing research, practice, and teaching of the comfort theory. To begin with, there is a gap in the comfort needs of ICU patients and nurses in attaining optimal comfort levels. In other words, discomfort is an inevitable aspect when it comes to handling critical patients (Berntzen, 2020 Theory-Practice Gap Paper). For ICU patients, discomfort is an interwoven and complex experience that deprives the body of normal functionalities.

The Best Course of Action for Making Decisions in the Absence of one Aspect.

The only way to address this discomfort in ICU patients is to stick to the three elements of comfort and the three types of discomfort which were outlined earlier in the study. Most importantly, obtaining more knowledge on the complex experience of the discomfort needs among ICU patients will bring about systematic approaches which can be used to enhance the research, education, and practice of comfort needs.

Practice Guideline

This gap can only be understood if healthcare practitioners delve into gaining more knowledge on how the brain of ICU patients is affected. This way, the Healthcare professionals stand a good chance at understanding the comfort needs of the patients and, thus, develop a systematic approach when it comes to assessing the comfort needs of ICU patients (Oliveira et al., 2020). The fact that there’s a huge discrepancy between the nurses’ overall efforts and the patient’s comfort needs in ICU shows that discomfort is a must for patients suffering from critical illnesses. This is what constitutes the comfort curve.

Theory-Practice Gap Paper References

Berntzen, H., Bjørk, I., Storsveen, A., & Wøien, H. (2020). “Please mind the gap”: A secondary analysis of discomfort and comfort in intensive care. Journal Of Clinical Nursing, 29(13-14), 2441-2454. DOI: 10.1111/jocn.15260

Oliveira, S., Costa, K., Santos, K., Oliveira, J., Pereira, M., & Fernandes, M. (2020). Comfort needs as perceived by hospitalized elders: an analysis under the light of Kolcaba’s theory. Revista Brasileira De Enfermagem, 73(suppl 3). doi: 10.1590/0034-7167-2019-0501

Tabah, M., Haryanto, J., & Nihayati, H. (2020). Kolcaba’s Theory of Comfort: Effects of Garra Rufa Fish Intervention Towards the Comfort of Elderly Dermatitis Patients. International Journal Of Psychosocial Rehabilitation, 24(02), 4115-4121. DOI: 10.37200/ijpr/v24i2/pr200733

Vo, T. (2020). A Practical Guide for Frontline Workers During COVID-19: Kolcaba’s Comfort Theory. Journal Of Patient Experience, 7(5), 635-639. DOI: 10.1177/2374373520968392