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Is burn-out finally a disease or not?
  1. Quentin V Durand-Moreau
  1. Division of Preventive Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2T4, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Quentin V Durand-Moreau, Division of Preventive Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2T4, Canada; durandmo{at}

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In May 2019, WHO has stated that burn-out should be considered as a disease in the new version of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). This information was widely disseminated in the news media. However, a few hours later, the international organisation stepped back. All this confusion brings us to that question: what exactly is burn-out? Moreover, should it be considered a disease or not?

Freudenberger defined burn-out as ‘a state of fatigue or frustration brought about devotion to a cause, way of life, or relationship that failed to produce the expected reward’.1 Maslach has then developed the most used questionnaire to assess …

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  • Contributors QVD-M has written the whole manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.