The similarities between the Theory of Caring and the Theory of Comfort are firstly that both approaches emphasize holistic care whereby social, spiritual and psychological needs of a patient are addressed. Second, both theories consider health care as a process that involves assessing the patient, developing a care plan, and lastly evaluating the effectiveness of care given. One of the main differences between the two theories is that the Theory of Caring focuses more on providing holistic care to the patient by paying more attention to the environment and the spiritual needs of the patient (Petiprin, 2016 a). On the contrary, the Theory of Comfort focuses more on relieving the suffering of the patient by addressing the illness. For example, a patient who experiences pain after a surgical procedure can be comforted by being prescribed painkillers (Petiprin, 2016 b).
In Watson’s Theory of Caring, a nursing environment should protect patients by providing them with corrective mental, spiritual, socio-cultural, and physical environment that is supportive (Petiprin, 2016 a). In addition, nurses should also provide patients with privacy, safety and comfort. Kolcaba’s Theory of Comfort considers the environment as factors related to the patient, institution, or family that can be altered by loved ones or nurses in order to improve a patient’s comfort (Petiprin, 2016 b).
One of the similarities between the Postpartum Depression Theory and the Uncertainty in Illness Theory is that both theories argue that patients normally worry or experience anxiety because of a life-changing event in their lives. New mothers and people diagnosed with a chronic illness may experience anxiety and depression (Thurgood, Avery, & Williamson, 2009). The main difference between the two theories is that the emotional problem experienced by new mothers with postpartum depression are more severe than those experienced by people diagnosed with chronic diseases. In both theories the patient may engage in coping behavior within their environment, for example, new mothers may engage in obsessive behaviors, while patients with chronic illnesses may also engage in coping behavior (Thurgood, Avery, & Williamson, 2009).
Petiprin, A. (2016 a). Jean Watson Nursing Theory. Retrieved from
Petiprin, A. (2016 b). Kolcaba’s Theory of Comfort. Retrieved from
Thurgood, S., Avery, D. M., & Williamson, L. (2009). Postpartum Depression (PPD). American Journal of Clinical Medicine, 6(2),17-22.