Manipulative Behaviour

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Manipulative behaviour is a coping mechanism sometimes used by patients when facing stress. It can be very destructive and can greatly interfere in the nurse/patient relationship.

To help a patient with manipulative behaviour, the nurse can:

  • Assess a patient’s needs or anxieties, which he/she is addressing through manipulative behaviour.

  • Assist patient in recognizing his/her pattern of behaviour.

  • Teach patient direct ways to communicate needs.

  • Ensure patient does not“split” (i.e. tell you something about someone else). Encourage patient to communicate directly with involved party.

  • Give consistent, clear messages.

  • Establish a written contract with the patient as necessary.

  • Involve the Enterostomal Therapy Nurse, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Social Worker, Psychiatry as necessary.


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