Katharine Kolcaba

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Katharine Kolcaba
Nationality United States
Fields Nursing
Known for Nursing theory

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.[1]


Kolcaba earned a nursing diploma from St. Luke's Hospital School of Nursing. She earned a Master of Science in Nursing from Case Western Reserve University in 1987 and a PhD from the same school in 1997.[2]


Kolcaba's nursing background included work in 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.[3] 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.[4] The Theory of Comfort considers the concepts of relief, ease and transcendence across four dimensions - physical, psychospiritual, sociocultural and environmental.[5]

Kolcaba is Associate Professor Emeritus at University of Akron. She holds an adjunct position at Ursuline College.[2]

Awards and honors[edit]

2007: Distinguished Alumni Award, The Cleveland General and St. Luke's Nurses' Alumni Association[2]
1994 - Present: Who's Who in American Nursing[2]


  • 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. 
  • 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. 


  1. ^ March, A; McCormack, D (Mar–Apr 2009), "Nursing theory-directed healthcare: modifying Kolcaba's comfort theory as an institution-wide approach", Holistic Nursing Practice, 23 (2): 75–80, doi:10.1097/hnp.0b013e3181a1105b, PMID 19258847 
  2. ^ a b c d "More About Me". Comfort Line. Retrieved July 7, 2012. 
  3. ^ Sitzman, Kathleen; Eichelberger, Lisa Wright (2015). Understanding the Work of Nurse Theorists. Jones & Bartlett Learning. ISBN 9781284113112. 
  4. ^ Snowden, Austyn; Donnell, Allan; Duffy, Tim (2014). Pioneering Theories in Nursing. Andrews UK Limited. ISBN 9781856424806. 
  5. ^ Masters, Kathleen (2013). Role Development in Professional Nursing Practice. Jones & Bartlett Publishers. p. 73. ISBN 9781449681982.