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Gender Differences in Different Dimensions of Common Burnout Symptoms in a Group of Clinical Burnout Patients

Author(s): Canazei Markus, Bassa Daniela, Jimenez Paul, Bühner Markus, Fink Andreas, Bauernhofer Kathrin, Luttenberger Silke, Paechter Manuela, Hinterhuber Hartmann, Bliem Harald R, Stix Peter, Papousek Ilona, Weiss Elisabeth M


The current study investigated gender differences with a focus on mood, personality characteristics, sleepiness/alertness and cognitive measures in a group of 103 clinically diagnosed burnout patients, who were enrolled in a five week rehabilitation program in specialized centers in Austria.


Patients completed a series of questionnaires measuring mood, burnout symptoms, sleep complaints and personality characteristics such as work-related coping. Additionally, all subjects were assessed with a cognitive test battery measuring specific components of executive functions and selective visual attention. Furthermore, to evaluate if gender differences generalize across potential burnout subgroups we performed a cluster analysis with the depression score and burnout-index as clustering variables.


Our results revealed, that men and women did not differ in their depression scores, but women showed higher levels in emotional exhaustion and reduced vitality as well as reduced vigilance compared to men. Moreover, women showed higher levels of sleepiness and tiredness that also affected cognitive performance of more demanding executive control tasks. Finally, we found gender differences in personality characteristics and workrelated coping strategies. Men and women were equally distributed across all three burnout subgroups identified with cluster analysis, and gender differences were the same in all burnout subgroups.


The observed gender differences in clinical burnout patients may have implications for the development of gender-specific rehabilitation programs.

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