Physical, psychological and occupational consequences of job burnout: A systematic review of prospective studies.
Burnout is a syndrome that results from chronic stress at work, with several consequences to workers’ well-being and health. This systematic review aimed to summarize the evidence of the physical, psychological and occupational consequences of job burnout in prospective studies. The PubMed, Science Direct, PsycInfo, SciELO, LILACS and Web of Science databases were searched without language or date restrictions. The Transparent Reporting of Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines were followed. Prospective studies that analyzed burnout as the exposure condition were included. Among the 993 articles initially identified, 61 fulfilled the inclusion criteria, and 36 were analyzed because they met three criteria that must be followed in prospective studies. Burnout was a significant predictor of the following physical consequences: hypercholesterolemia, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, hospitalization due to cardiovascular disorder, musculoskeletal pain, changes in pain experiences, prolonged fatigue, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, respiratory problems, severe injuries and mortality below the age of 45 years. The psychological effects were insomnia, depressive symptoms, use of psychotropic and antidepressant medications, hospitalization for mental disorders and psychological ill-health symptoms. Job dissatisfaction, absenteeism, new disability pension, job demands, job resources and presenteeism were identified as professional outcomes. Conflicting findings were observed. In conclusion, several prospective and high-quality studies showed physical, psychological and occupational consequences of job burnout. The individual and social impacts of burnout highlight the need for preventive interventions and early identification of this health condition in the work environment.