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Systematic review

Vol. 152 No. 3738 (2022)

Point prevalence of burnout in Switzerland: a systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Muaamar Al-Gobari
  • Yara Shoman
  • Solenne Blanc
  • Irina Guseva Canu
Cite this as:
Swiss Med Wkly. 2022;152:w30229


AIMS OF THE STUDY: To estimate the prevalence of occupational burnout among the Swiss working population. 

METHODS: We interrogated three international databases (Medline (PubMed), EMBASE, and PsycINFO) and the databases of 15 Swiss universities to identify studies reporting the prevalence of occupational burnout in Swiss workers over the last 10 years, before the COVID-19 pandemic. Data were summarised descriptively and quantitatively using random-effects meta-analysis. We investigated between-study heterogeneity by stratifying results according to the type of burnout measurement tool, by occupation and by cut-off values. Three outcomes were considered: clinical/severe burnout, overall burnout and emotional exhaustion. 

RESULTS: We identified 23 studies about workers in Switzerland and estimated the prevalence of clinical or severe burnout at 4% (95% confidence interval [CI] 2–6%). The average prevalence estimates for overall burnout and emotional exhaustion were similar at 18% (95% CI 12–25%) and 18% (95% CI 15–22%), respectively. When stratified by occupation, the clinical or severe burnout rates were higher among the healthcare workers than the general working population.

CONCLUSIONS: These estimates of prepandemic (baseline) prevalence of occupational burnout are comparable with those available in the other countries where it is recognised and treated as a disease. They may prove useful in planning and assessing the effectiveness of interventions for prevention of occupational burnout and in minimising its negative consequences on individuals and on societies during and after the pandemic.


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