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Indian J Psychiatry. 2006 Oct;48(4):223-31. doi: 10.4103/0019-5545.31553.

Psychological effects of low intensity conflict (LIC) operations.

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(Retd) Professor and Head, Department of Psychiatry, Ranchi Institute of Neuropsychiatry and Allied Sciences (RINPAS). Formerly HOD, Psychiatry Department, Command Hospital (Northern Command).



A burgeoning clinical and empirical literature has provided incontrovertible evidence that combat operations exact a heavy toll in terms of human suffering not only on combatants but also military support personnel. Though the Indian army is engaged in low intensity conflict (LIC) operations for over five decades, the psychological effects of LIC deployment on soldiers have not been adequately studied.


To evaluate the psychological effects of deployment in LIC operations on service personnel.


Five hundred and sixty-eight servicemen engaged in LIC operations and equal number of age- and rank-matched personnel in adjoining peace areas were evaluated with a self-made questionnaire, General Health Questionnaire (GHQ), Carroll Rating Scale for Depression (CRSD), State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test (MAST), Impact of Events Scale (IES), Perceived Stress Questionnaire (PSQ), Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory (MFI), Hindi PEN inventory, Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS) and Locus Of Control (LOC) scale.


Respondents from LIC area had significantly higher scores on CRSD, MAST, GHQ, IES, and general fatigue, physical fatigue, and mental fatigue subscale of the MFI in comparison to those located in other areas. Significantly higher number of respondents from highly active LIC and with more than one-year service in LIC scored above cut-off levels on CRSD, MAST and GHQ.


The psychological status of troops was directly related both to the duration of stay and the nature of LIC area.


Low intensity conflict; alcoholism; depression; fatigue; psychological morbidity

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