What is it about?

We examined the relationship between burnout and depression in three different samples, one in France and two in the U.S., using three different sets of burnout scales and two different depression scales. We controlled for content overlap in the scales and used a statistical procedure to control for measurement error. We found very high correlations between exhaustion, the core of burnout, and depressive symptoms. The correlations were high enough to suggest that the scales are measuring depression on a continuum, with scores at the high end of the continuum reflecting clinical depression.

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Why is it important?

We recommend that occupational health specialists focus on depression rather than burnout to more effectively identify and help suffering workers.


I hope that this article gets readers to think about how they or their coworkers may be suffering psychologically, and the importance for the sufferers of getting professional help. I also want readers to consider that workers and managers can jointly take steps to change adverse working conditions that contribute to burnout/depression.

Dr. Irvin Sam Schonfeld
City College of CUNY

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Inquiry into the correlation between burnout and depression., Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, April 2019, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1037/ocp0000151.
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