The psychological effects of service in British Antarctica: a study using the General Health Questionnaire

This study follows the psychological profile of a group of Antarctic explorers on a remote base in British Antarctica. Each month for 1 year the 60-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) was administered to the 12-man complement and the results compared to those of a control group. Three men resigned and left, 4 months later, at the end of winter. Their scoring showed marked differences from the others, including the highest scores in the severe depression factor scale. The GHQ was accepted by the men despite the intrusive threat it offered in such a small community; there was also a seasonal variation in scoring, with higher scores in the winter, and no evidence of long-term psychological sequelae in those who stayed.


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Authors: Bell, J., Garthwaite, P. H.

1 February, 1987
British Journal of Psychiatry / 150
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