379 Burnout & Research

Research by Heinemann, Linda V. & Heinemann, Torsten. (2017)

Written by Shannon Cantalupo, B.S. 

Have you felt unable to cope with work as well as you used to? Burnout refers to exhaustion due to stress and feelings of reduced efficacy in one’s work.

German and Berkeley Universities collaborators wanted to learn if there are specific signs and symptoms of burnout that could identify it as a syndrome and a diagnosable disorder.

They completed a literature search for articles that discussed burnout over the past 40 years. Since 2005 the number of published articles discussing burnout has steadily increased. The research covered: causes, prevalence rates, training programs, psychological and somatic symptoms, psychometrics of burnout questionnaires, and physiological processes.

However, the least number of articles focused on psychological and somatic symptoms due to burnout, but this is the type of research needed to create a diagnostic criterion.  To best identify individuals with burnout, we need further research on the symptoms of burnout.

Not yet a designated disorder, burnout has more studies indicating its emotional, physical, and mental toll.  Thus, learn ways to handle stress. Set limits on your work. Be committed, but throughout your work, have breaks to restore yourself! In your mind, take “minute vacations”—or meditate during your day.


Heinesmann, L. V., & Heinemann, T. (2017). Burnout research: Emergence and scientific investigation of contested diagnosis. SAGE Open, 1-12.

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