Instruments to assess patient comfort during hospitalization: A psychometric review

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© 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd Aim: To analyse the psychometric properties and the utility of instruments used to measure patient comfort, physical, social, psychospiritual and/or environmental, during hospitalization. Background: There are no systematic reviews nor psychometric reviews of instruments used to measure comfort, which is considered an indicator of quality in health care associated with quicker discharges, increased patient satisfaction and better cost–benefit ratios for the institution. Design: Psychometric review. Data sources: MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Web of Knowledge, ProQuest Thesis&Dissertations, Google. Review methods: We limited our search to studies published between 1990-2015. The psychometric analysis was performed using the COnsensus-based Standards for the selection of health status Measurement INstruments (COSMIN), along with the Quality Criteria for Measurement Properties. The utility of the instruments was assessed according to their cost-efficiency, acceptability and educational impact. Protocol registration in PROSPERO, CRD42016036290. Results: Instruments reviewed showed moderate methodological quality and their utility was poorly reported. Thus, we cannot recommend any questionnaire without reservations, but the Comfort Scale, the General Comfort Questionnaire and their adaptations in adults and older patients, the Psychosocial Comfort Scale and the Incomfort des Patients de Reanimation are the most recommendable instruments to measure comfort. Conclusions: The methodology of the studies should be more rigorous and authors should adequately report the utility of instruments. This review provides a strategy to select the most suitable instrument to assess patient comfort according to their psychometric properties and utility, which is crucial for nurses, clinicians, researchers and institutions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1001-1015
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018


  • assessment tools
  • nursing
  • patient comfort
  • psychometric review
  • utility of instruments
  • validity of instruments


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