Sars/mers/sars-cov-2 outbreaks and burnout syndrome among healthcare workers. An umbrella systematic review

Nicola Magnavita, Francesco Chirico, Sergio Garbarino, Emiliano Santacroce, Salvatore Zaffina, Nicola Luigi Bragazzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


The coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) pandemic is putting a severe strain on all healthcare systems. Several occupational risk factors are challenging healthcare workers (HCWs) who are at high risk of mental health outcomes, including Burnout Syndrome (BOS). BOS is a psychological syndrome characterized by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and low personal accomplish-ment. An umbrella review of systematic reviews and meta-analyses concerning BOS and coronavirus (SARS/MERS/SARS-CoV-2) outbreaks was carried out on PubMed Central/Medline, Cochrane Library, PROSPERO, and Epistemonikos databases. Data relating to COVID-19 is insufficient, but in previous SARS and MERS outbreaks about one-third of HCWs manifested BOS. This prevalence rate is similar to the figure recorded in some categories of HCWs exposed to chronic occupational stress and poor work organization during non-epidemic periods. Inadequate organization and worsening working conditions during an epidemic appear to be the most likely causes of BOS. Preventive care and workplace health promotion programs could be useful for protecting healthcare workers during pandemics, as well as during regular health activities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4361-N/A
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Burnout syndrome
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus
  • Healthcare
  • Mental health
  • Occupational stress
  • Prevention


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