Review Article

Burnout among Military Personnel: A systematic Review


Objective: Burnout is a psychological symptom characterized by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and lack of personal accomplishment. Several systematic reviews have examined the prevalence of burnout in some communities, including the communities of physicians, nurses, students, and teachers. Risk factors, consequences of burnout, and related interventions have also been evaluated in several systematic review studies. The purpose of this systematic review was to investigate the prevalence, risk factors, consequences, and interventions associated with burnout among military personnel in all types of studies.

Method: Studies that quantitatively examined burnout in military personnel after 2000 were identified through systematic searches in PubMed, Scopus, Web of Knowledge, Embase, PsychInfo, and PsycArticles databases.

Results: A total of 43 studies met the criteria for inclusion in this systematic review. Of these, 34 were cross-sectional, 7 were longitudinal, 1 was case-control and 1 was experimental. Half of the studies had more than 350 samples. The studies were from 17 different countries, among which the United States had the largest number with 17 studies. 33 studies were measured with one version of Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI). Totally, only 10 studies reported a prevalence of burnout and/or its subscales. The prevalence of high emotional exhaustion ranged from 0% to 49.7% (median 19%), the prevalence of high depersonalization ranged from 0% to 59.6% (median 14%) and the prevalence of low personal accomplishment ranged from 0% to 60% (median 6.4%). In this systematic review, work environment factors (such as workload, shift work), psychological factors (anxiety, depression, stress), and duration and quality of sleep were shown as risk factors of burnout or its subscales. Also, psychological distress was observed as the consequence of burnout in more than one study.

Conclusion: The studies investigated in this systematic review showed a relatively moderate prevalence of burnout. In fact, burnout was associated with work environment factors and psychological variables.

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IssueVol 18 No 2 (2023) QRcode
SectionReview Article(s)
Burnout Military Personnel Systematic Review

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How to Cite
Hosseini SM, Hesam S, Hosseini SA. Burnout among Military Personnel: A systematic Review. Iran J Psychiatry. 2023;18(2):213-236.