Comfort Theory and its application to pediatric nursing

Pediatr Nurs. 2005 May-Jun;31(3):187-94.


Although written protocols currently are directed more to pain relief than to the comfort of each child, there is increasing interest in pediatric literature about comforting strategies for children and their families. However, pediatric nurses/researchers currently utilize measures of discomfort that designate a neutral sense of comfort as in the absence of a specific discomfort. Assessing comfort as a positive, holistic outcome is important for measuring effectiveness of comforting strategies. Comfort Theory (Kolcaba, 2003), with its inherent emphasis on physical, psychospiritual, sociocultural, and environmental aspects of comfort, will contribute to a proactive and multifaceted approach to care. The framework of Comfort Theory for pediatric practice and research is easy to understand and implement. The application of the theory is strengthening and satisfying for pediatric patients/families and nurses, and benefits institutions where a culture of comfort is valued. Moreover, comfort is a transcultural and interdisciplinary concern.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Critical Care / organization & administration
  • Critical Care / psychology
  • Empathy*
  • Female
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Helping Behavior
  • Holistic Health
  • Humans
  • Models, Nursing
  • Nurse's Role
  • Nurse-Patient Relations
  • Nursing Assessment
  • Nursing Theory*
  • Pain / diagnosis
  • Pain / nursing*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Patient Care Planning
  • Pediatric Nursing / organization & administration*
  • Philosophy, Nursing
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Social Support
  • Stress, Psychological / diagnosis
  • Stress, Psychological / nursing*