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Occupational Exposures and Symptoms of Depression and Burnout

SBU Assessment

Presents a comprehensive, systematic assessment of available scientific evidence for effects on health, social welfare or disability. Full assessments include economic, social and ethical impact analyses. Assessment teams include professional practitioners and academics. Before publication the report is reviewed by external experts, and scientific conclusions approved by the SBU Board of Directors.

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Conclusions

  • Those who experience job strain, i.e. a work situation with low decision latitude (personal control of their own working situation) in combination with too high demands, develop more symptoms of depression over time than people who are not subjected to such exposure at work.
  • Those who experience low social support at work develop more symptoms of depression and burnout over time than people who are not subjected to such exposure at work. Those who are bullied at work, or experience workplace conflicts, develop more symptoms of depression.
  • Those who experience work as mentally stressful; those who experience effort-reward imbalance; or those who experience job insecurity develop more symptoms of depression and burnout over time than people who are not subjected to such exposure at work.
  • In some work environments, people have less symptoms. Those who experience high influence over work-related decisions and those who experience work place justice develop less symptoms of depression and burnout than others.
  • Women and men with similar occupational exposures develop symptoms of depression and burnout to the same extent.
  • This systematic literature review has uncovered a substantial body of knowledge concerning occupational exposures and symptoms of depression and burnout. Future research should include intervention studies, i.e. studies that scientifically test the effect of well-defined interventions on such symptoms over extended periods of time in authentic work situations. 

How to cite this report: SBU. Occupational exposures and symptoms of depression and burnout. Stockholm: Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment (SBU); 2014. SBU report no 223 (in Swedish).

Published: Report no: 223 https://www.sbu.se/223e
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