Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




V.M. Marshall




This thesis was initially concerned with the theoretical framework and practical application of Reality Orientation--a therapeutic technique currently employed with the mentally impaired aged. On a theoretical level, attention was to be focused upon the manner in which.a number of assumptions, inherent within the formal theory were managed in a Reality Orientation programme. Participation in and observations of a Reality Orientation programme which had been introduced in a geriatric centre commenced in order to fully assess the Reality Orientation programme. However, the programme at the centre deviated significantly from the formal principles of Reality Orientation. Moreover, the programme was subject to much resistance particularly from the nursing and health care staff and was eventually aborted on one of the two wards which employed the programme. We were able to consider the management of the assumptions located within the formal theory, the format of the programme at the centre, and provide possible explanations accounting for the failure of and the resistance to the prgramme at the centre. However, due to the deviations of the programme from the formal theory, a fully comprehensive evaluation of Reality Orientation as a therapeutic approach could not be fully ascertained.

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