A Hot Topic: Burnout in Health Sciences Literature, 2012-2022


The concept of burnout syndrome was first established in health sciences literature in 1970. Though now prevalent across fields and industries, the health sciences in particular have devoted consistent and increasing attention to burnout due to the distinctive physical and psychological demands of medical professions, high performance requirements, and often insufficient nature of governmental support (funding, resources, policy) to alleviate them, which manifest in negative consequences for working professionals. While the literature on burnout is prolific and the concept of burnout has become embedded in societal discourse, studies using bibliometric methods that overview burnout in the health sciences have traditionally been undertaken at the disciplinary level. This study provides a large-scale analysis of the current state of health sciences literature on burnout by analyzing six highly used health science databases. We identify seven clusters in the health sciences that describe where research on burnout is being conducted based on top journals in each cluster and contextualize studies on burnout within the literature through cluster keywords. We find a significant increase on burnout literature resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic and describe how this body of work has changed since the pandemic began. Finally, we provide suggestions for future approaches to burnout research, including ways librarians can support researchers studying burnout, and how to use findings from this analysis to situate new studies.

Apr 12, 2023 3:00 PM — 4:00 PM
QSS talks
Rowe 3089
6100 University Ave, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2