Evid Based Nurs 2:134 doi:10.1136/ebn.2.4.134
  • Qualitative

A blend of comforting strategies and a form of team comforting were used during nasogastric tube insertion

 Question How do nurses use patient comforting strategies to facilitate the insertion of a nasogastric tube in a trauma care setting?


Qualitative ethology.


3 level 1 trauma centres.

Data source

The investigators videotaped 32 trauma cases during which there were 49 attempts to insert a nasogastric tube. Patients were 2–74 years of age and most were men (71%). Trauma team members who inserted the tube were nurses (55% of attempts), physicians (37%), or students (8%).


Data were analysed using content analysis, and detailed textual descriptions of behaviour patterns used to comfort patients were produced. Using an existing typology of comforting strategies, recurring behaviours were identified and categorised.

Main findings

Nurses selectively used comforting strategies that focused on the competing interests of successful tube insertion and minimisation of patient discomfort. Direct comforting strategies were the primary tools used to achieve patient comfort. Nurses began with an assessment that focused on the procedure, but also addressed more global aspects of patient experiences such as pain. …

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