The nature of comfort to hospitalized medical surgical patients


  • Brenda Leigh Cameron RN BScN MSc(Nursing)

    1. Assistant Professor, Faculty of Nursing, 3rd Floor Clinical Sciences Building, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2G3, Canada
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Historically, comfort has been a quintessential aspect of nursing practice Currently, it is questionable whether or not comfort remains an integral facet of nursing care The increasing trend to focus on the technological and institutional aspects of patient care rather than the individual's response to illness and subsequent treatment is heard again and again from the growing vocal consumer movement This study of comfort from a patient's viewpoint (a grounded theory) attempted to address both the current state of comfort care found within nursing practice and the patient's view of what constituted comfort while in hospital The most significant finding was that comfort was not a passive process whereby the patients waited in hope of receiving comfort (i e such as someone to come and soothe their fevered brows) Comfort was found to be a dynamic process, with each patient actively engaged in increasing personal comfort levels Indeed, the lack of comfort was found to be the stimulus for patients to embark on a process called ‘integrative balancing’