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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 65-70

Psychological health in the summer team of an Indian expedition to Antarctica


1 Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Health, Goa, India

Correspondence Address:
Abhijeet Bhatia
Department of ENT, NEIGRIHMS, Mawdiangdiang, Shillong - 793 018, Meghalaya
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0971-8990.174596

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Context: Number of scientific personnel traveling to Antarctica for short summer stay far outnumbers winter personnel. Hence, psychological issues confronting such personnel need to be analyzed in detail. This study aims to study changes in psychological health, cognitive functioning, changes in motivation levels, and tobacco and alcohol consumption during a summer in Antarctica. Aims: To study changes in psychological health, cognitive functioning, changes in motivation levels and tobacco and alcohol consumption during a summer in Antarctica. Setting and Design: This cohort study was conducted on 33 summer team members of 27 th Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica. Subjects and Methods: Seven instruments were administered to assess general health, alcohol and tobacco dependence, memory and cognitive functioning of the team members. Statistical Analysis Used: The data were analyzed for statistical significance using nonparametric Wilcoxon Signed Rank Sum Test. Results: Scores on social dysfunction, depression, and somatic symptoms increased. Tobacco consumption also increased concomitantly. However, memory and cognitive function were not impaired. Alcohol consumption did not change. None of the subjects needed medication or evacuation for psychological difficulties. Conclusion: Psychological issues might manifest themselves even during a short stay in Antarctica during the summer season.


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