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Prevalence of burnout among Belgian workers assessed through the occupational healthcare system

Author
Organization
Project
EMUTOM: A European Module on Undergraduate Teaching in Occupational Health.
Abstract
Introduction : Today burnout is recognized as an important issue because of its considerable social and economic costs. Due to the variation in definitions and measurement instruments, little is known about the actual prevalence of burnout in the working population. In the literature, burnout prevalence figures among workers range from 2.4% to more than 40%. The scope of this variation is probably in part caused by the use of self-evaluation scales. The aim of this study was to estimate the burnout prevalence among Belgian workers through the identification of burnout cases during various health examinations carried out by occupational physicians (OPs). Methods : Based on literature and focus–groups meetings, a diagnostic form was developed to help health professionals screen job-related ill-being and burnout symptoms when they examined workers. The form was also designed to distinguish between the early onset stage cases and the more severe burnout cases. This diagnostic form was used by 168 occupational physicians representing 12.5% of the absolute number of active OPs (n = 1050) in Belgium; they prospectively collected burnout cases during a three months period. Results : During the data collection period, the OPs established 58.831 worker contacts and identified 456 burnout cases (of which 307 severe cases); prevalence is thus estimated at 0.8% of the working population. Extrapolation to the total number of Belgian workers, suggests that about 19.000 workers annually suffer from burnout. Discussion : For several diseases, an important difference is observed between the rate of complaints and the actual recourse to medical care. Also in the present study, the prevalence estimated through the occupational health system, is largely lower than the rate derived from individual self-evaluations. The validity and significance of this prevalence rate will be discussed, together with the potential role the OP could play in screening and secondary prevention.

Citation

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Chicago
Mairiaux, Philippe, Nathalie Schippers, Julie De Cia, Jean-Paul Panda, Lutgart Braeckman, and Isabelle Hansez. 2012. “Prevalence of Burnout Among Belgian Workers Assessed Through the Occupational Healthcare System.” In Occupational Health, 30th International Congress, Abstracts.
APA
Mairiaux, P., Schippers, N., De Cia, J., Panda, J.-P., Braeckman, L., & Hansez, I. (2012). Prevalence of burnout among Belgian workers assessed through the occupational healthcare system. Occupational Health, 30th International congress, Abstracts. Presented at the 30th International congress on Occupational Health (ICOH 2012) : Occupational health for all : from research to practice.
Vancouver
1.
Mairiaux P, Schippers N, De Cia J, Panda J-P, Braeckman L, Hansez I. Prevalence of burnout among Belgian workers assessed through the occupational healthcare system. Occupational Health, 30th International congress, Abstracts. 2012.
MLA
Mairiaux, Philippe, Nathalie Schippers, Julie De Cia, et al. “Prevalence of Burnout Among Belgian Workers Assessed Through the Occupational Healthcare System.” Occupational Health, 30th International Congress, Abstracts. 2012. Print.
@inproceedings{4242998,
  abstract     = {Introduction : Today burnout is recognized as an important issue because of its considerable social and economic costs. Due to the variation in definitions and measurement instruments, little is known about the actual prevalence of burnout in the working population. In the literature, burnout prevalence figures among workers range from 2.4% to more than 40%. The scope of this variation is probably in part caused by the use of self-evaluation scales. The aim of this study was to estimate the burnout prevalence among Belgian workers through the identification of burnout cases during various health examinations carried out by occupational physicians (OPs).
Methods : Based on literature and focus–groups meetings, a diagnostic form was developed to help health professionals screen job-related ill-being and burnout symptoms when they examined workers. The form was also designed to distinguish between the early onset stage cases and the more severe burnout cases. This diagnostic form was used by 168 occupational physicians representing 12.5% of the absolute number of active OPs (n = 1050) in Belgium; they prospectively collected burnout cases during a three months period.
Results : During the data collection period, the OPs established 58.831 worker contacts and identified 456 burnout cases (of which 307 severe cases); prevalence is thus estimated at 0.8% of the working population. Extrapolation to the total number of Belgian workers, suggests that about 19.000 workers annually suffer from burnout.
Discussion : For several diseases, an important difference is observed between the rate of complaints and the actual recourse to medical care. Also in the present study, the prevalence estimated through the occupational health system, is largely lower than the rate derived from individual self-evaluations. The validity and significance of this prevalence rate will be discussed, together with the potential role the OP could play in screening and secondary prevention.},
  articleno    = {abstract A1201},
  author       = {Mairiaux, Philippe and Schippers, Nathalie and De Cia, Julie and Panda, Jean-Paul and Braeckman, Lutgart and Hansez, Isabelle},
  booktitle    = {Occupational Health, 30th International congress, Abstracts},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Cancún, Mexico},
  title        = {Prevalence of burnout among Belgian workers assessed through the occupational healthcare system},
  url          = {http://icoh.confex.com/icoh/2012/webprogram/Paper7943.html},
  year         = {2012},
}