WHO classifies burnout as 'occupational phenomenon' in ICD-11

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The World Health Organization updated the definition of workplace burnout in the ICD-11 as an occupational phenomenon, characterizing it in three dimensions.

The WHO defines burnout as a syndrome stemming from chronic workplace stress that has not been managed successfully. The three aspects of workplace burnout include increased mental distance from one's job, reduced professional efficacy and feelings of exhaustion. Negativism and cynicism are also included in the WHO's definition of burnout.

Burnout, the WHO said, only refers to phenomena in the occupational context, and should not be applied to describe experiences in other life areas.

According to the National Institutes of Health, the term burnout was originally coined to describe stress felt by those in "helping" professions, such as doctors and nurses.

WHO said it plans to develop evidence-based guidelines for workplace mental wellbeing.

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