WHO recognizes work 'burnout' as occupational phenomenon, adds ICD-11 code

The World Health Organization classified work "burnout" as an occupational phenomenon in its latest revision of the International Classification of Diseases.

Three things to know:

1. "Burnout is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed," states the ICD-11 entry. "Burnout refers specifically to phenomena in the occupational context and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life."

2. Work burnout, which will be tracked by the code QD85, is characterized by the following 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.

3. The WHO plans to develop "evidence-based guidelines on mental well-being in the workplace," according to CBS News.

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