User Login

Glossary of Terms


For Experts

  • Currently a diagnosis in the ICD.
  • Burnout is described by the World Health Organization as an “occupational phenomenon” and is included in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). The ICD-11 defines Burnout as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” “Burn-out refers specifically to phenomena in the occupational context and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life,” (World Health Organization, 2018). 
  • It is a “psychological syndrome in response to chronic interpersonal stressors on the job. The three key dimensions of this response are an overwhelming exhaustion, feelings of cynicism and detachment from the job, and a sense of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment” (Maslach, Leiter and Schaufeli, 2009). 
  • Can also involve negative change in reaction to others, including depersonalization, inappropriate attitudes towards coworkers, irritability, loss of idealism, and withdrawal (Maslach, Leiter and Schaufeli, 2008). 
  • Perceived “high caseloads, lack of control or influence over agency policies and procedures, unfairness in organization structure and discipline, low peer and supervisory support, and poor agency and on-the-job training” have been identified as organizational factors underlying Burnout (Barak, Nissly & Levin, 2001; Maslach & Leiter, 1997; Newell & MacNeil, 2010). 
  • Distinct from compassion fatigue, vicarious stress, and vicarious trauma, because Burnout is not necessarily or exclusively related to exposures to potentially psychologically traumatic events, complex trauma, or adverse childhood experiences.

For General Public

  • Currently a diagnosis in the ICD.
  • A mental health condition that can occur when the person experiences ongoing occupational stress in the workplace, particularly organizational stress (e.g., ongoing conflict with supervisors or colleagues, high amounts of overtime; insufficient breaks).
  • Might be occurring when the person seems to have one or more of the following: overwhelming exhaustion, is cynical, feels detached from the job, feels ineffective, or does not get rewards from working in the job.

Return to Index 

Back to Glossary of Terms

User Login

Lost Password