CCFP 105 Topics: Behavioural Problems
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CCFP Key Topic 11 - Behavioural Problems in a new tab)

Written By: Chris Cochrane

Reviewed By: Kajsa Heyes

Objective One:In all patients, when working up a behavioural problem:

a) Ensure a thorough assessment of medical and mental health conditions and psychosocial factors before offering a diagnosis or definitive adviceb) Use a validated assessment tool if availablec) Use multiple sources of information (e.g., workplace, family, school) with consentd) Explore the patient’s own perspective, not just that of the caregiver

Objective Two:In assessing behavioural problems in adolescents specifically look for substance use, peer issues, abuse, and other stressors.

Objective Three:While assessing behavioural problems in a patient,

a) Evaluate the impact of the behaviour

b) Explore any underlying emotional distress with the patient

c) Destigmatize embarrassing behaviours

Objective Four:When making a diagnosis of a behavioural problem in a patient,

a) Avoid premature labelling of a behaviour as a disorder

b) Follow up with support and regular visits until the situation is clearer and any therapeutic requirements are more evident

Objective Five:When managing behavioural problems:

a) Assess and address immediate risk for the patient and others

b) Do not limit treatment to medication; address other dimensions (e.g., do not just use amphetamines to treat ADD, but add social skills teaching, time management, etc.) and match to available community resources

Objective Six:When there is a challenging relationship with a patient with behavioural problems maintain a continuous, therapeutic, and non-judgmental relationship with the patient and family.



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