The University of Valencia has validated the usefulness of its tool for diagnosing the burnout syndrome -- Spanish Burnout Inventory (SBI) -- for the Brazilian cultural, social and work environment. The study leading to this validation, led by Professor of Social Psychology Pedro R. Gil-Monte, has been published in the journal Japanese Psychological Research.
The Psychosocial Analysis of Organisational Behaviour Research Unit (UNIPSICO) of the Faculty of Psychology at the University of Valencia, directed by Gil-Monte, created and registered the Burnout Syndrome Evaluation Questionnaire (CESQT) in 2011 with a view to "helping diagnose this occupational disease and differentiate it from other conditions such as depression," argues the professor.
So far, this high-capacity instrument for preventive diagnosis has been validated in several European countries (Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal and the Czech Republic) and in Spanish-speaking Latin American countries like Argentina, Chile, Colombia or Mexico. Now this study has allowed researchers to ratify this methodology in a Latin American non-Spanish-speaking country and, thus, to move forward in the international dissemination of this tool and its adaptation to the Portuguese language.
Professor Pedro R. Gil-Monte emphasises that in addition to facilitating diagnosis, CESQT, developed by his research team, "also enables the profiling of workers affected by the burnout syndrome and makes it possible to administer specific treatments for each person."
The questionnaire, created in the University of Valencia, comprises 20 items that evaluate the burnout syndrome, understood as a response to chronic work-related stress that appears especially in professionals in service organisations who work in direct contact with people (healthcare professionals, teachers, social workers, law enforcement officers, caregivers, etc.). It consists of four dimensions: enthusiasm towards the job, psychological exhaustion, indolence and guilt. The first three give an overall score while the guilt subscale allows us to differentiate between two profiles of affected individuals, one of which is more severe and leads to major health problems, anxiety and psychosomatic problems.
The social and work-related relevance of this instrument and of the theoretical model on which the CESQT is based is that it facilitates the diagnosis of the syndrome and the interpretation of symptoms by analysing the profiles of individuals based on their clinical severity, "so it can be a very useful diagnostic tool for example in legal proceedings, as the burnout syndrome has been considered a work accident by the Social Chamber of the Supreme Court since 2000," adds Gil-Monte.
Key factor of public health
Furthermore, due to its prevalence, this condition arising from the work activity is important for public health because it appears more often in professionals in service organisations who work in close contact with other people and, according to labour force surveys, over 70% of the Spanish population work in this sector.
Pedro R. Gil-Monte is a lecturer and accredited professor by ANECA in the Department of Social Psychology at the University of Valencia and director of the Psychosocial Analysis of Organisational Behaviour Research Unit (Unipsico) (http://www.uv.es/~unipsico/). His research focuses on the quality of working life, evaluation of psychosocial factors at work and prevention of occupational hazards of a psychosocial nature. He is currently directing the research project 'Transoccupational validation of a model on the development of the burnout syndrome: development and evaluation of an intervention programme', funded by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. He has authored more than 150 publications in scientific journals, books and chapters.
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