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Before eating a meal, a patient with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) must wash their hands for 20 minutes, comb their hair with 200 strokes, and switch the bathroom light on and off 50 times. What is the most appropriate goal of care for this patient?

Explanation

• Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by a pervasive pattern of preoccupation with perfectionism, mental and interpersonal control, and orderliness at the expense of flexibility, openness, and efficiency.

• When caring for a patient with OCD, the goal is to decrease the undesirable behavior by reducing the underlying anxiety. Nursing goals must be specific and attainable, and identifying three effective coping strategies to manage anxiety would allow proper evaluation of this goal.

• Incorrect: Expecting to omit one behavior each day is unrealistic because the patient may have used ritualistic behaviors to reduce anxiety for a long time. Drugs may become a source of obsession and must be used with caution. Allowing time for rituals would perpetuate the undesirable behaviors.

• Incorrect: Drugs may become a source of obsession and must be used with caution though some patients may be treated with SSRIs.

• Incorrect: Allowing time for rituals would perpetuate the undesirable behaviors.

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