Validation of Karolinska Exhaustion Scale: psychometric properties of a measure of exhaustion syndrome

Scand J Caring Sci. 2013 Dec;27(4):1010-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6712.2012.01089.x. Epub 2012 Oct 12.


Background: The syndrome of exhaustion is currently a medical diagnosis in Sweden. The description of the syndrome largely corresponds to the suggested core component of burnout, that is exhaustion. Karolinska Exhaustion Scale (KES) has been constructed to provide specific assessment of exhaustion in clinical and research settings.

Aim: The purpose of the present study was to examine the psychometric properties of this scale in its original and revised versions by examining the factorial structure and measures of convergent and discriminant validity.

Methods: Data gathered from two independent samples (n1 = 358 & n2 = 403) consisting of patients diagnosed with 'reaction to severe stress, and adjustment disorder' were subjected to confirmatory factor analysis. The study's instruments were Karolinska Exhaustion Scale and Shirom Melam Burnout Measure. Correlation analyses were employed to follow up the established factorial structure of the scale. The study was ethically approved by Karolinska Institute regional ethic committee.

Results: The findings demonstrated adequate fit of the data to the measurement model provided by the revised version of KES Limitations: The main limitation of the present study is the lack of a gold standard of exhaustion for direct comparison with KES. (KES-26) and partially supported convergent validity and discriminant validity of the scale.

Conclusion: The demonstrated psychometric properties of KES-26 indicate sound construct validity for this scale encouraging use of this scale in assessment of exhaustion. The factorial structure of KES-26 may also be used to provide information concerning possible different clinical profiles.

Keywords: assessment; clinical burnout; confirmatory factor analysis; disturbed sleep; syndrome of exhaustion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Burnout, Professional*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychometrics*
  • Sweden
  • Young Adult