Researchers have warned that 'burnout syndrome' may be a precursor to depressive disorders.
The diagnosis 'burnout syndrome' is the basis for many doctors' certificates attesting unfitness to work and is therefore an important factor in health economic terms.
The study by psychiatrist Wolfgang P Kaschka and coauthors shows that a vast deficit exists with regard to research into the condition. In spite of the absence of instruments, the diagnosis of burnout is often made in clinical practice, and it is also being used to base further treatment on.
The symptoms of those affected usually include emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced productive capacity.
In the authors' view, burnout should be regarded as a precursor of or risk factor for depressive disorders.
The study has been published in Deutsches Arzteblatt International.