”Burnout is a syndrome of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment that can occur among individuals who work with people in some capacity” (Maslach, Jackson, and Leiter, 1996)
Symptoms and behaviors related to burnout include:
• Frequent illness
• Other physical symptoms
• Withdrawal from social interaction
• Negative language when talking about work
• Avoidance of work tasks
Effects of Burnout
Individual level and organizational level
• Service disruption
• Additional stress for those that stay when others leave
• Poor performance by those that stay instead of leave when burnt out
Risk Factors of Burnout
• High/unrealistic work demands
• Imbalance between demand and resources
• Conflict within the workplace
• Younger employees
• Single employees
• Employees that define work as a primary source of feelings of accomplishments
• Longer work days
• Isolation/lack of social support
• Higher levels of education
• Challenging client behaviors (specific to special education/behavior health settings)
(Plantiveau,C., Dounabi, K., and Virues-Ortega, J. (2018)
So what do we do??
Assess. Intervene. Monitor.
Maslach Burnout Inventory:
The Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) is the most commonly used tool to self-assess whether you might be at risk of burnout. To determine the risk of burnout, the MBI explores three components: exhaustion, depersonalization and personal achievement. While this tool may be useful, it must not be used as a scientific diagnostic technique, regardless of the results. The objective is simply to make you aware that anyone may be at risk of burnout. For each question, indicate the score that corresponds to your response. Add up your score for each section and compare your results with the scoring results interpretation at the bottom of this document.
SCORING RESULTS – INTERPRETATION
Section A: Burnout Burnout (or depressive anxiety syndrome): Testifies to fatigue at the very idea of work, chronic fatigue, trouble sleeping, physical problems. For the MBI, as well as for most authors, “exhaustion would be the key component of the syndrome.” Unlike depression, the problems disappear outside work. Total 17 or less: Low-level burnout Total between 18 and 29 inclusive: Moderate burnout Total over 30: High-level burnout
Section B: Depersonalization “Depersonalization” (or loss of empathy): Rather a “dehumanization” in interpersonal relations. The notion of detachment is excessive, leading to cynicism with negative attitudes with regard to patients or colleagues, feeling of guilt, avoidance of social contacts and withdrawing into oneself. The professional blocks the empathy he can show to his patients and/or colleagues. Total 5 or less: Low-level burnout Total between 6 and 11 inclusive: Moderate burnout Total of 12 and greater: High-level burnout
Section C: Personal Achievement The reduction of personal achievement: The individual assesses himself negatively, feels he is unable to move the situation forward. This component represents the demotivating effects of a difficult, repetitive situation leading to failure despite efforts. The person begins to doubt his genuine abilities to accomplish things. This aspect is a consequence of the first two. Total 33 or less: High-level burnout Total between 34 and 39 inclusive: Moderate burnout Total greater than 40: Low-level burnout
A high score in the first two sections and a low score in the last section may indicate burnout.
Note: Different people react to stress and burnout differently. This test is not intended to be a scientific analysis or assessment. The information is not designed to diagnose or treat your stress or symptoms of burnout. Consult your medical doctor, counselor or mental health professional if you feel that you need help regarding stress management or dealing with burnout.