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Burnout recognized as illness starting 2022

The World Health Organization (WHO) has listed “burnout syndrome” in the ICD-11 (International Classification of Diseases), its official diagnostic manual.

The move means that starting 2022, doctors can officially diagnose patients with burnout syndrome.

In their latest update to the diagnostic manual, WHO defines burnout as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”

It can be characterized by the following three dimensions:

  1. feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;
  2. increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job;
  3. reduced professional efficacy.

This means that a doctor can diagnose a patient with burnout syndrome if these three criteria are sufficiently met.

WHO describes burnout syndrome as a phenomenon limited to the workplace environment, meaning that it cannot be used for diagnosing similar effects in other areas of life.

If an employee is recognized as suffering from burnout syndrome as an occupational illness and declared incapable of earning a living, he or she will be eligible to employment injury (100%) benefit.

Burnout can be effectively averted by conducting psychosocial risk assessment on an organizational level to flag areas where preventive measures are required.

You can find further details on measuring work-related stress at