Research paper|Articles in Press

Psychometric validation of the Kolcaba General Comfort Questionnaire in critically ill patients

Published:March 09, 2023DOI:



      There is a lack of validated tools to measure comfort in critically ill patients.


      The objective of this study was to evaluate the psychometric properties of the General Comfort Questionnaire (GCQ) in patients admitted to intensive care units (ICUs).


      A total of 580 patients were recruited, randomising the sample into two homogeneous subgroups of 290 patients for exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis, respectively. The GCQ was used to assess patient comfort. Reliability, structural validity, and criterion validity were analysed.


      The final version included 28 of the 48 items from the original version of the GCQ. This tool was named the Comfort Questionnaire (CQ)-ICU, maintaining all types and contexts of the Kolcaba theory. The resulting factorial structure included seven factors: psychological context, need for information, physical context, sociocultural context, emotional support, spirituality, and environmental context. A Kaiser–Meyer–Olkin value of 0.785 was obtained, with Bartlett's sphericity test (0.000) being significant, and the total variance explained was 49.750%. The Cronbach's alpha was 0.807, with subscale values ranging from 0.788 to 0.418. Regarding convergent validity, high positive correlations were obtained between the factors and the GCQ score, the CQ-ICU score, and the criterion item GCQ31: “I am content”. In terms of divergent validity, correlations were low with the APACHE II scale and with the NRS-O except for physical context (−0.267).


      The Spanish version of the CQ-ICU is a valid and reliable tool to assess comfort in an ICU population 24 h after admission. Although the resulting multidimensional structure does not replicate the Kolcaba Comfort Model, all types and contexts of the Kolcaba theory are included. Therefore, this tool enables an individualised and holistic evaluation of comfort needs.


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