Comfort of the hospitalized elderly

Teresa Silveira, Raquel Pereira, Carla Colaço, Rita Marques, Patrícia Pontífice-Sousa


The purpose of this pilot study is to identify the specifics of comfort in the hospitalized elderly population. This is a descriptive-exploratory pilot study, with a qualitative approach. Data was collected between January and February 2018, being included 12 elderly participants hospitalized in the pulmonology/oncology department. Semi-structured audio-recorded interviews were conducted to obtain the data. The central theme of the comfort phenomenon for the hospitalized elderly individuals comprises four categories that represent the perceptions of the subjects, namely: needs that were felt/experience’s context; intervenients’ role/experience’s context; ways and means of causing comfort/discomfort; attributes associated with the concept of comfort/discomfort. The analysis of each of these categories showed the importance of developing skills, in order to satisfy the comfort needs of the hospitalized elderly. The elderly constitute a group which is socially more vulnerable and fragile. For this reason, nurses and students should be available to provide relief, well-being and comfort to this population with specific needs. The findings of this study reinforce the results of previous research efforts, highlighting categories and subcategories that allow to achieve a balance between needs, expectations and wishes, and an integrated comforting care that should be considered and object of deep research by nursing students.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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