What is comfort? For the purposes of this proposal, comfort is defined as two states: a temporal state of well-being and a long term, more constant state of optimal health. The provision of comfort consists of two components: caring, a component that motivates the nurse to initiate the nursing process and provides the humanistic quality of care during procedures, and nursing tasks or procedures. This proposal is for the first phase of a three-stage research program to investigate comfort. Phase I consists of exploratory and descriptive studies to delineate the construct of comfort and is comprised of three complementary and interrelated studies. The first two studies examine the individual patient. These are a phenomenological study examining the meaning of comfort for patients in various care areas, and an ethnoscientific study to elicit the components of comfort. The third study will examine the process of comforting in the work setting, using the methods of grounded theory. These studies will lay an essential foundation for continuing and future research in Phases II and III of this research program. Phase II will comprise of studies that examine the meaning and methods of comforting in the four domains of nursing (i.e., in human responses to illness, to institutionalization, to therapeutic interventions, and to the attainment of health), and Phase III will consist of testing these interventions. The significance of this work is that the theoretical shift from nurse caring to patient comfort changes the focus of the research from the nurse to the client. Thus developing knowledge will be clinically relevant and applicable. In addition, the outcome variable, patient comfort, will be both physiologically and psychologically operationizable and measurable.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)
Research Project (R01)
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Nursing Research Study Section (NURS)
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University of Alberta
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T6 2-E1
Morse, Janice M; Bottorff, Joan; Anderson, Gwen et al. (2006) Beyond empathy: expanding expressions of caring. 1991. J Adv Nurs 53:75-87; discussion 87-90
Morse, Janice M; Pooler, Charlotte (2002) Patient-family-nurse interactions in the trauma-resuscitation room. Am J Crit Care 11:240-9
Hupcey, J E; Penrod, J; Morse, J M et al. (2001) An exploration and advancement of the concept of trust. J Adv Nurs 36:282-93
Morse, J M (2001) Toward a praxis theory of suffering. ANS Adv Nurs Sci 24:47-59
Morse, J M; Penrod, J; Kassab, C et al. (2000) Evaluating the efficiency and effectiveness of approaches to nasogastric tube insertion during trauma care. Am J Crit Care 9:325-33
Morse, J M; Penrod, J; Hupcey, J E (2000) Qualitative outcome analysis: evaluating nursing interventions for complex clinical phenomena. J Nurs Scholarsh 32:125-30
Morse, J M (2000) Responding to the cues of suffering. Health Care Women Int 21:9-Jan
Morse, J M (2000) On comfort and comforting. Am J Nurs 100:34-7; quiz 38
Hupcey, J E; Penrod, J; Morse, J M (2000) Establishing and maintaining trust during acute care hospitalizations. Sch Inq Nurs Pract 14:227-42; discussion 243-8
Morse, J M; Wilson, S; Penrod, J (2000) Mothers and their disabled children: refining the concept of normalization. Health Care Women Int 21:659-76

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