Evaluation of a third-location decompression program for Canadian Forces members returning from Afghanistan

Mil Med. 2012 Apr;177(4):397-403. doi: 10.7205/milmed-d-11-00302.


Background: Service members returning from combat can experience difficulty adapting to home life. To help ease this transition, the Canadian Forces provides a Third-location Decompression (TLD) program in Cyprus to members returning from deployment to Afghanistan.

Methods: The 5-day program consists of individual free time, structured recreational activities, and educational programming. Its perceived value and impact were measured immediately afterward and 4 to 6 months later.

Results: Respondents overwhelmingly supported the TLD concept, with 95% agreeing that "some form of TLD is a good idea." Eighty-one percent of participants found the program valuable, and 83% recommended it for future deployments to Afghanistan. Perceived value persisted 4 to 6 months after return, and 74% felt that it helped to make reintegration easier for them.

Conclusion: Canadian Forces members saw value in the TLD program, and most members believed that the program had its intended effect of making the reintegration process easier for them.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Afghanistan
  • Canada
  • Combat Disorders / prevention & control
  • Combat Disorders / psychology*
  • Counseling
  • Cyprus
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Military Personnel / psychology*
  • Occupational Diseases / prevention & control
  • Occupational Diseases / psychology*
  • Recreation
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / prevention & control
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*
  • Warfare