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Table 2 Methodologically adequate studies on the association between psychosocial workload and emotional exhaustion/burnout

From: The role of psychosocial working conditions on burnout and its core component emotional exhaustion – a systematic review

First author, publication year Study region Study design Population Exposure Outcome Results
Branch/Occupation; no. of companies No. of subjects (response rate, mean age) Time of baseline examination Follow up (mean, range)
Ahola & Hakanen 2007 [45] Finland Follow-up study Finnish dentists (members of Finnish Dental Association) 2,555 Finnish dentists (71% response of all Finnish dentists) 2003 2006 (3 years), loss to follow-up 22% Job strain (Job Content Questionnaire - JCQ) Burnout (Maslach Burnout Inventory - MBI) Subjects free of burnout at baseline, adjusted for depression at baseline:
job strain: OR=22.3 (95% CI 5.1-98.1)
Job strain: OR=4.0 (95% CI 2.0-8.0)
Subjects free of burnout but with depressive symptoms at baseline:
Job strain: OR=2.2 (95% CI: 1.4-3.4)
Subjects free of depression (measured by Beck Depression Inventory - BDI) at baseline, adjusted for baseline burnout:
Job strain: OR=1.8 (95% CI: 1.04-3.1)
Janssen and Nijhuis 2004 [46] Netherlands Follow-up study 45 companies 5,256 employees (response rate 45%, mean age 42.3±8.5 years) 1998 1 year, loss to follow-up 20% (1) Psychological demands (JCQ, Dutch version) Burnout-subscale emotional exhaustion of MBI-GS (General Survey) Reduced emotional exhaustion:
(1) Decreased job demands: β=-0.16, p<0.001
(2) Decision latitude (JCQ, Dutch version)
(2) Increased decision latitude: β=0.07, p<0.001
(3) Social support (JCQ, Dutch version)
(3) Increased social support: β=-0.07, p<0.001
Langballe et al. 2011 [47] Norway Follow-up study physicians n=291 female physicians (response rate 74%, mean age 41.8±9.9 years), n=232 male physicians (response rate 64%, mean age 48.1±10.9 years) 2005 2 years, loss to follow-up 21% (women) and 26% (men) (1) Perceived workload (3-item scale, based on the Job Stress Questionnaire - JSQ) Burnout-subscale exhaustion of Oldenburg Burnout Inventory (OLBI, Norwegian version) Women
(1) High workload (follow up): β=0.17, p<0.01
(2) autonomy (4-item scale, based on the Job Stress Questionnaire - JSQ) (2) High autonomy (follow up): β=0.07, n. s.
(3) no. of hours worked per week (3) Working hours (baseline): β=0.01, n. s.
(1) High workload (follow up): β=0.31, p<0.01
(2) High autonomy (follow up): β=0.22, p<0.001
(3) Working hours (baseline): β=0.03, n. s.
Lorente Prieto et al. 2008 [48] Spain Follow-up study 23 secondary schools N=274 teachers (response rate 81%, mean age 40±7.0 years, 43% men) n.r. 8 months, loss to follow-up 43% (1) quantitative overload (3-item scale, instrument n. r.) burnout-subscale emotional exhaustion of MBI-GS (1) Quantitative overload (baseline): β=0.12, p<0.05
(2) mental demands (6-item scale, instrument n. r.) Results for exposure no. (2)-(7) n. r., n. s.
(3) emotional demands (7-item scale, instrument n. r.)
Women feel more exhaustion (β=0.11, p<0.05) at follow-up than men
(4) role ambiguity (6-item scale, instrument n. r.)
(5) role conflict (8-item scale, instrument n.r.)
(6) autonomy (5-item scale, instrument n. r.)
(7) social climate (3-item climate scale of the FOCUS questionnaire [49]
Taris et al. 2010 [50] Nether-lands Follow-up study Dutch police officers 828 police officers, mean age 42.1±7.8 years, 85% men, response rate for baseline examination 53% n.r. 1 year, loss to follow-up 57% (1) job demands (4-items of the JCQ) burnout-subscale emotional exhaustion of MBI-GS (Dutch version) (1) High demands: β=0.08, p<0.01
(2) Job control: n. s.
(2) job control (9-item scale: 1 item from JCQ, 3 items from Dutch Stress Questionnaire, 5 items from the NOVA-WEBA questionnaire [51]
Van Vegchel et al. 2004 [52] Sweden Follow-up study Human services 2,255 human service employees, mean age 47.0±6.5 years, 41% men, response rate 76% 1997 1 year, loss to follow-up 29% (1) Quantitative demands (4-item scale based on the JCQ) Burnout-subscale emotional exhaustion of MBI (Swedish version) Model 1:
(1) High quantitative demands: β=0.12, p<0.01
(2) Emotional demands (8-item scale) (3) Low job control: β=-0.10, p<0.05
(4) Low social support: β=-0.07, p<0.05
(3) Job control (8-item scale, instrument n. r.)
Model 2:
(4) Social support (7-item scale, instrument n. r.) (2) High emotional demands: β=0.09, p<0.001
(3) Low job control: β=-0.10, p<0.05
(4) Low social support: β=-0.08, p<0.05
  1. Abbreviations: n. s. not significant, n. r. not reported, JCQ Job Content Questionnaire; MBI Maslach Burnout Inventory, MBI-GS Maslach Burnout Inventory – General Survey.