World Health Organisation (WHO) recognises burn-out as a disease (ICD-11 to come into effect on 1 January 2022)
Burn-out. The World Health Organisation has for the first time recognised “burn-out” in its International Classification of Diseases (ICD), which is widely used as a benchmark for diagnosis and health insurers.
The decision, reached during the World Health Assembly in Geneva could help put to rest decades of debate among experts over how to define burnout, and whether it should be considered a medical condition.
In the latest update of its catalogue of diseases and injuries around the world, WHO defines burn-out as “a syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed”.
The burn-out syndrome is characterised by three dimensions:
1) Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
2) Increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job
3) Reduced professional efficacy
Member states agreed on Saturday, 25 May, to adopt the 11 revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11), to come into effect on 1 January 2022.
ICD is the foundation for the identification of health trends and statistics globally, and the international standard for reporting diseases and health conditions. It is the diagnostic classification standard for all clinical and research purposes. ICD defines the universe of diseases, disorders, injuries and other related health conditions.
The ICD also captures factors influencing health, or external causes of mortality and morbidity, providing an holistic look at every aspect of life that can affect health.
Understanding what makes people sick, and what eventually kills them, is at the core of mapping disease trends and epidemics, deciding how to programme health services, allocate healthcare spending, and invest in improving therapies and prevention. ICD-11 is now fit for many uses, including clinical recording, primary care, patient safety, antimicrobial resistance, resource allocation, reimbursement, casemix, in addition to mortality and morbidity statistics.