Burnout in the working population: relations to psychosocial work factors

Int J Behav Med. 2006;13(1):51-9. doi: 10.1207/s15327558ijbm1301_7.


This study investigated levels of burnout in the general population irrespective of occupation and relations between burnout and psychosocial work factors. A cross-sectional survey featuring sleep problems, psychological distress, burnout (Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey), and psychosocial factors at work, was mailed to a random sample of 3,000 participants, aged 20-60. Response rate was 61%. A high level (18%), a low level (19%), and an intermediate group (63%) for burnout were constructed. The high level group was associated with those who were > 50 years old, women, those experiencing psychological distress, and those with a poor psychosocial work climate. The analyses on variables significant in previous analyses showed that the high level group was strongly related to high demands, low control, lack of social support, and disagreeing about values at the workplace even when accounting for age, gender, and psychological distress. We conclude that psychosocial work factors are important in association to burnout regardless of occupation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Burnout, Professional / epidemiology
  • Burnout, Professional / psychology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / psychology
  • Employment / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / epidemiology
  • Sweden / epidemiology