30 May 2019 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
Burnout is included in the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) as "an occupational phenomenon" by the World Health Organisation.
But it is not classified as a medical condition. It is described in the chapter 'Factors influencing health status or contact with health services' that includes reasons for which people contact health services but that are not classed as illnesses or health conditions.
Burnout is defined in ICD-11 as follows: "Burnout is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions: feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; increased mental distance from one's job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one's job; and reduced professional efficacy. Burnout refers specifically to phenomena in the occupational context and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life."
Burnout was also included in ICD-10, in the same category as in ICD-11, but the definition is now more detailed.
The World Health Organisation is also about to embark on the development of evidence-based guidelines on mental well-being in the workplace.