New York | Burnout feeling of physical and emotional exhaustion and depression overlap considerably, according to a new study. The findings are based on a survey taken by 1,386 public school teachers, from pre-K to 12th grade across the US, including New York, during the 2013-14 academic year.
Based on their responses to a burnout measure, the teachers were categorised as belonging to either a burnout or no-burnout group on a study led by Professor Irvin S Schonfeld of The City College of New York and Renzo Bianchi, from the University of Neuchatel, Switzerland.
Less than one per cent of the no-burnout group met criteria for a provisional diagnosis of depression, whereas 86 per cent of the burnout group met these criteria. In addition, the teachers in the burnout group were about three times as likely to have a history of depression and almost four times as likely to be currently taking anti-depressant medication.
Teachers in the burnout group were also more than twice as likely to report a history of anxiety disorders. When burnout and depression were treated as continuous dimensions, they were very highly correlated.
Our purpose was not to determine the prevalence of burnout or depressive symptoms in a representative sample of teachers, said Schonfeld and Bianchi. Our analytic purpose was to determine the extent to which burnout and depression overlap, both dimensionally and categorically, researchers said.
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