Burnout Syndrome and Depression

  • Renzo Bianchi
  • Irvin Sam Schonfeld
  • Eric Laurent


The aim of this chapter is to provide an overview of the burnout syndrome, a condition initially described in psychology in the mid-1970s. We start by depicting the pioneering phase of burnout research that led to the introduction of the burnout construct in the scientific literature. We then describe the shift from initial exploratory and mainly qualitative research on burnout to more systematic, quantitative research on the syndrome. Finally, we summarize the most recent findings pertaining to the characterization of the burnout syndrome. These findings compellingly suggest that the syndrome referred to as burnout is depressive in nature. Overall, the case of the burnout syndrome highlights the need for more conceptual parsimony and theoretical integration in psychology and psychiatry and calls for enhanced transdisciplinary communication in the fields of stress and depression research.


Burnout Construct proliferation Depression Diagnosis Methodology Nosology Unresolvable stress 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Renzo Bianchi
    • 1
  • Irvin Sam Schonfeld
    • 2
  • Eric Laurent
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of Work and Organizational PsychologyUniversity of NeuchâtelNeuchâtelSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyThe City College of the City University of New YorkNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Laboratory of Psychology (EA 3188)Bourgogne Franche-Comté UniversityBesançonFrance

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