Theory in Nursing Research
According to Nieswiadomy, theories are sets of related statements that describe or explain phenomenas in a systematic way (Nieswiadomy, 2012). They are ideas or topics that cannot be proven but will guide researchers to hypotheses and possible causes to problems. A theory often has to be changed if evidence does not support the statement. Therefore, it is the basis of how nursing research is developed. The ultimate use for theory in nursing research is to improve patient care. “In order to incorporate theory into daily practice, it is important for the bedside nurse to be familiar with theory and how it can be applied. Theory needs to be practical and doable for the nurse delivering care for patients and families” (Delatte, 2012). Therefore, nursing research will guide caregivers with data that supports or rejects a phenomenon. It is important that nurses become familiar with theories like Kolcaba’s comfort theory to promote health and offer the best patient care. The comfort theory is a nursing theory that was first developed in the 1990s by Katherine Kolcaba. She describes comfort as existing in 3 forms: relief, ease, and transcendence, which can occur as physical, psychospiritual, environmental, and sociocultural (Kolcaba, 2010). Comfort theory is practiced by nurses daily. It is as simple as asking their patients if they need anything from them or giving them medication to reduce their pain level. It is used by nurses as they assist their patients during ambulation or by adjusting their room temperature to a comfortable level. Sometimes, theory may be totally imbedded in nursing research and practice to such an extent that nurses are not consciously aware they are using it (Bond, 2011). Since research studies support the comfort theory, it is important for nurses to learn about it and apply it to their daily system of care. Theories help nursing research by providing the foundation of healthcare phenomenas that...
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