Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

Living Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan


  • Jill Winegardner
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-56782-2_1119-3


Disorientation is an alteration of mental status characterized by lack of awareness of personal identity, place, time, and/or situation. Typically, disorientation occurs first in time, then in place, and finally in person. It is assessed by asking the person specific questions in these spheres. Disorientation is a relatively nonspecific symptom occurring in diffuse disorders (i.e., dementia), focal brain lesions (i.e., stroke), and infectious and metabolic processes, secondary to medications and drug interactions, and in psychological disorders (i.e., schizophrenia). After diagnosis of the underlying cause, treatment generally involves the use of compensatory strategies such as calendars and clocks.


Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oliver Zangwill CentreElyUK