Burnout Linked to Chronic Stress at Work

In its latest revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), the World Health Organization (WHO) has officially classified workplace burnout as an occupational phenomenon. This change will be reflected in the new version of the handbook, International Classification of Diseases ICD-11, which will go into effect in January 2022.

What is burnout? In the past, the WHO defined it as a “state of vital exhaustion”. But with the recent revisions to the ICD, it is now classified as a work hazard.

The new definition calls burnout a "syndrome resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed." Burnout is not being identified as a medical condition – but an occupational phenomenon.

The WHO reports that burnout is characterized by three factors:

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