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Scientific Background

Of the working population in the Netherlands, about 7 percent have burnout symptoms. Burnout is not new: the first scientific studies date back to the 1970s. Nevertheless, burnout is still debated today and there is no clear picture of the extent of the problem.

This is also caused by an outdated scientific definition of burnout and a lack of modern, scientifically validated tests to identify burnout symptoms in employees. To illustrate, almost all burnout diagnoses and scientific research on burnout to date had to be done with the Maslach Burnout Inventory, a questionnaire from 1981. Since then, many new insights have been gained about burnout and job happiness (the opposite of burnout). This has never produced a good and reliable burnout test. Until now.

Scientific studies

TestGroup, in collaboration with various Dutch universities and foreign universities, has conducted research into a new way to measure burnout and job satisfaction using a new 'smart' burnout test: The Bridge Burnout Indicator. By using a new (artificial intelligence based) technique, the normative-ipsative split technology, the online burnout indicator is even better at noticing early symptoms than the employee himself.

The Bridge Burnout Indicator has been extensively studied on reliability and validity among a large group (n=2134) of employees in the Netherlands and Belgium. This research shows that the BBI (Bridge Burnout Indicator) is a very reliable and valid measuring instrument. The Bridge Burnout Indicator does not diagnose burnout, but measures burnout symptoms and happiness at work. In this way, the test helps to identify burnout symptoms in employees at an early stage, thus preventing costs for companies and organizations.

Dimensions of burnout

The Bridge Burnout Indicator measures 4 symptoms of burnout that together form a burnout score:

  • Fatigue: the overall physical and mental fatigue an employee experiences, both at work and at home.
  • Mental distance from work: the degree of mental resistance an employee has built up to work.
  • Cognitively fatigued: the memory, attention and concentration problems that an employee suffers from.
  • Emotionally fatigued: the presence of emotional reactions or fatigue that an employee suffers from at home or at work.

Dimensions of work happiness

Because research shows that measuring burnout alone is not enough to prevent employee attrition, The Bridge Burnout Indicator also measures 4 dimensions of work happiness:

  • Work engagement: the energy and motivation of the employee that make for passionate engagement in work.
  • Proactive vitality: proactive behavior of the employee directed to promote vitality at work.
  • Job satisfaction: the employee's positive emotional feeling resulting from satisfaction with a job or work experience.
  • Organizational engagement: the interest and connection that an employee has with an organization.

What is a burnout?

Burnout is the final stage of a prolonged period of stress and (over)tension. This causes an employee to suffer from both physical and mental exhaustion. It is often work-related and occurs in employees who have worked productively and without problems for an extended period of time.

Fatigue, mentally distancing oneself from work, being cognitively and emotionally tired are considered the core factors of burnout.

Burnout is mainly caused by a mismatch between high work demands and insufficient resources at work. Problems in the private sphere or personal predispositions can facilitate burnout.

Our tests & online assessments

TestGroup is the developer of the Bridge assessment instruments, which are high-quality, scientific tests that are applied all over the world. All Bridge instruments have been developed by TestGroup in collaboration with universities in the Netherlands and abroad. TestGroup specializes in predicting work behavior with personality questionnaires, career tests, and intelligence tests. We advise local and international organizations on the application of online assessments.

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