Diagnostic Criteria for Burnout Syndrome (BOS)

The burnout syndrome is characterized by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and reduced personal accomplishment in individuals professionally involved with others.

Burn-out 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.

Burn-out refers specifically to phenomena in the occupational context and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life.



  1. Mealer M, Moss M, Good V, Gozal D, Kleinpell R, Sessler C. What is Burnout Syndrome (BOS)?. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2016;194(1):P1–P2. [Medline]
  2. Suleiman-Martos N, Albendín-García L, Gómez-Urquiza JL, et al. Prevalence and Predictors of Burnout in Midwives: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17(2):E641. Published 2020 Jan 19. [Medline]

Created Mar 04, 2020