Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate the contribution of burnout to the association between job strain and depression.
Methods: A representative sample of 3270 Finnish employees aged 30 to 64 years responded to the Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey and the Beck Depression Inventory and participated in the Composite International Diagnostic Interview.
Results: High strain compared with low strain was associated with 7.4 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 5.6-9.7) times higher odds of burnout, 3.8 (95% CI = 2.8-5.1) times higher odds of depressive symptoms, and 1.7 (95% CI = 1.1-2.6) times higher odds of depressive disorders. The risk for depressive symptoms and for depressive disorders of high strain was reduced by 69% or more after adjusting for burnout.
Conclusion: Burnout is strongly related to job strain and may in part mediate the association between job strain and depression.