Prediction of nursing burnout—a scoping review of the literature from 1970 to 2021

Carolina Carvalho Manhães Leite, Abigail R. Wooldridge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Burnout is an occupational syndrome resulting from chronic workplace stress not appropriately managed. In nursing, burnout has been associated with adverse job characteristics (e.g., high responsibility for others, heavy workload, lack of infrastructure), with negative outcomes for the individual, the organization, and the recipients of care. The objective of this review is to describe the approaches used to predict burnout of practicing nurses to allow health care organizations to proactively address nursing burnout. We searched Scopus and PubMed for publications containing either in their title or abstract the terms “nurs*”, “burnout”, and “predict*” from 1970 to 2021. Our multi-phase screening process resulted in 312 papers. A gap in existing research relates to the primary method all studies but one used to capture data—questionnaires. Burnout is essentially a cumulative condition, and questionnaires identify the damage reactively, after burnout is experienced, by placing an additional demand on the individual, i.e., they further increase workload. Methods, ideally requiring minimal effort, to predict, not detect, burnout are needed so that individuals and organizations can take measures to prevent, reduce, and ultimately eliminate burnout among nurses and other clinicians.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)294-313
Number of pages20
JournalIISE Transactions on Healthcare Systems Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Burnout prediction
  • nursing
  • sociotechnical system
  • work design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Safety Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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