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[Correspondence] Burnout or depression: both individual and social issue

In view of the profound problems attached to the construct of burnout, we recommended in our Correspondence (April 8, p 1397)1 that occupational health specialists focus on (job-related) depression rather than burnout to help workers more effectively. In a reply to our letter, Ronald Epstein and Michael Privitera (April 8, 1398)2 rejected our recommendation on the grounds that burnout is not a “purely individual syndrome”. The authors further argued that “considering burnout solely as a mental illness of individual workers rather than work-related distress would be disastrous”.

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