Burnout is now an official medical condition. On the occasion of its 72nd World Health Assembly, the World Health Organization (WHO) has included burnout in its international ranking of diseases.
Burnout has entered the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organization (WHO), which serves as a basis for establishing health trends and statistics. This decision has been adopted by WHO Member States, meeting since May 20, and until May 28, in Geneva as part of the World Assembly of the organization.
“This is the first time” that the burnout has entered the classification, told reporters Monday a spokesman for the WHO, Tarik Jasarevic. Another first: the video game disorder – defined as a loss of control over video game playing with damaging repercussions – has been added to the section on addiction disorders.
The WHO Classification of Diseases provides a common language that allows health professionals around the world to exchange health information. Burnout, which enters the section on “problems associated with” employment or unemployment, is now codenamed QD85.
Burnout is described as “a syndrome (…) resulting from chronic stress at work that has not been successfully managed” and is characterized by three elements: a sense of exhaustion, cynicism or negativistic feelings related to work and a reduced professional efficiency “. The WHO registry states that burnout “refers specifically to phenomena related to the work context and should not be used to describe experiences in other areas of life”.
Until now, burnout had suffered from a lack of recognition that results in an often late diagnosis.
The new classification, called CIP-11, already published last year, was formally adopted during this 72nd World Assembly. It will come into effect on January 1, 2022. It includes new chapters, including one on sexual health. It covers conditions previously classified elsewhere, such as “gender incongruence”, namely transsexualism, previously classified with mental disorders.