Sanità internazionale 19 settembre 2016

Burn-out, a serious problem in France: «A dangerous and underestimated illness, we need more information»

«Emotional stress and disinterest are dangerous as extra workload and they have to be officially recognised as symptoms of a real illness». Philippe Zawieja, researcher of the Research Centre of risks and crisis of the École nationale supérieure des mines of Paris,  interrogated by French deputies, explains that the burn-out, a syndrome characterized by exhaustion, […]

«Emotional stress and disinterest are dangerous as extra workload and they have to be officially recognised as symptoms of a real illness». Philippe Zawieja, researcher of the Research Centre of risks and crisis of the École nationale supérieure des mines of Paris,  interrogated by French deputies, explains that the burn-out, a syndrome characterized by exhaustion, depersonalization and reduced satisfaction which affects medical professionals, is a considerable phenomenon: according to Zawieja, the balance between the individual engagement and the perception of the capitalist system has fallen down «with the entrenchment of the crisis and the high level of unemployment, as already happened during 30’s economic crisis». The expert has explained to the deputies that this dynamic has pushed people to move from a career and social promotion strategy to a survival strategy at work, with a consequent isolation of the employee and a stress increase.

Many psychologists and psychiatrists have been asked to clarify this phenomenon and to formulate new proposals to improve this working situation. The information mission of the deputies will continue during autumn in order to write a report in December. What is clear now is that : the burn-out must be integrated in education programs for students as well as in continuing medical education CME of healthcare professionals; the cooperation between the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Health must be boosted through information campaigns on mental health. This is recommended in the burn-out report delivered to the National Academy of medicine on the 16 February 2016.

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