peoplepill id: katharine-kolcaba
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Katharine Kolcaba

Katharine Kolcaba

American nurse
Katharine Kolcaba
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American nurse
Is Nurse
From United States of America
Type Healthcare
Gender female
Birth 28 December 1944
Age 77 years
Star sign Capricorn
The details (from wikipedia)


Katharine Kolcaba (born December 28, 1944) is an American nursing theorist and nursing professor. Kolcaba is responsible for the Theory of Comfort, a mid-range nursing theory that has been implemented at the institutional level.


Kolcaba earned a nursing diploma from St. Luke's Hospital School of Nursing in 1965. She earned a Master of Science in Nursing from Case Western Reserve University in 1987 and a PhD from the same school in 1997.


Kolcaba's nursing background included work in the operating room, medical/surgical nursing, home health and long-term care. She became interested in comfort as a theoretical construct while working on a unit for dementia patients. While the concept of comfort was as old as the nursing profession, Kolcaba's theory turned it into a measurable entity with defined supporting features. The Theory of Comfort considers the concepts of relief, ease and transcendence across four dimensions - physical, psychospiritual, sociocultural and environmental. The juxtaposition of the three levels of comfort and four contexts of comfort is referred to as the “Taxonomic Structure of Comfort”. Using the taxonomic structure as a tool allows researchers to easily apply the theory in their specialty to operationalize the idea of comfort.

Kolcaba is Associate Professor Emeritus at University of Akron. She holds an adjunct position at Ursuline College.

Awards and honors

2007: Distinguished Alumni Award, The Cleveland General and St. Luke's Nurses' Alumni Association
1994–Present: Who's Who in American Nursing

Scope of Theory

The Comfort Theory (CT) is a broad-scope middle range theory because it contains concepts and relationships, is adaptable to a wide range of practice settings and experiences, can be built from many sources and it can be tested and measured. It also qualifies as a middle range theory because of its direct applicability to nursing practice. It is broad in the sense that it also considers nursing practice holistically, however the concepts of the theory can be used separately or in combination with each other in nursing practice settings.


  • Kolcaba, K. (2010). Impaired Comfort. In B. Ackley & G. Ladwig (Eds.). Nursing Diagnosis Handbook: An evidence-based guide to planning care. (9th Edition)
  • Kolcaba, K. (2003). Comfort Theory and Practice: A vision for Holistic Health and Research. Springer Publishing Company.
  • Kolcaba, K (2001). "Evolution of the mid range theory of comfort for outcomes research". Nursing Outlook. 49 (2): 86–92. doi:10.1067/mno.2001.110268. PMID 11309563.
  • Kolcaba, K (1994). "A Theory of Comfort for Nursing". Journal of Advanced Nursing. 19: 1178–1184. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2648.1994.tb01202.x.
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 18 Feb 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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