Content Comparison of Patient-Reported Outcome Instruments Used to Measure Burnout

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Abstract

The aim of this article is to compare the content of patient-reported outcome (PRO) burnout measures and to examine the degree of overlap between them and psychosocial difficulties (PSD) experienced by persons with burnout. The most frequently used PRO and qualitative studies were identified in two systematic literature reviews. Psychosocial difficulties identified in both sources were standardized and a qualitative content comparison was performed. Seven PROs and seven qualitative studies were selected. Energy and drive, emotional functions and work were key themes of both sources. Disparities were observed for problems in areas such as sleep, attention or family relationships, which were reported in several qualitative studies, but are seldom addressed in PROs. Several areas important to persons with burnout, such as family relationships, are seldom measured by currently used PROs. From a biopsychosocial perspective, these instruments cannot therefore be considered comprehensive enough to capture the whole experience of burnout and should be improved.

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