Date of Award

2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

First Advisor

Rebecca Beck-Little

Abstract

One of the most important goals of nursing care is to provide comfort to patients and their families. In order to provide comfort, nurses must be able to recognize and respond to patients in distress. Inconsistencies in the delivery of comfort care are based largely on the nurse's educational preparation. The degree to which comfort and comforting is evidenced in nursing performance depends in great measure on the way upcoming nurses perceive the concept during their education.

In this descriptive study guided by Kolcaba's Comfort Theory, the researcher surveyed a convenience sample of Associate Degree Nursing students to assess their perception of comfort. Data was collected utilizing Kolcaba's General Comfort Questionnaire as well as demographic information. Statistical analysis utilizing descriptive statistics, central tendencies and independent samples ttests revealed that students recognized statements of comfort in the psychospiritual and sociocultural domains more often than those in the physical and environmental domains. Positive statements of enhanced comfort were recognized almost twice as often as negative statements indicating healthcare needs. Results also revealed a statistically significant difference (p

Findings from this study have the potential to identify influencing factors and areas needing improvement in teaching comfort measures to nursing students.

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