Familial clustering in burnout: a twin-family study.

Department of Biological Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Psychological Medicine (Impact Factor: 5.43). 02/2005; 35(1):113-20. DOI: 10.1017/S0033291704002983
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Research on risk factors for burnout has mainly focused on circumstances at work and on personal characteristics. The aim of this study was to investigate whether burnout clusters within families and, if so, whether this is due to genetic influences or to environmental factors shared by family members. Finally, we tried to identify specific risk factors for burnout.
In 2707 twins, 736 of their siblings and 575 of their spouses from a population-based twin-family sample, burnout was measured using a self-report questionnaire. Correlations in burnout scores were obtained for monozygotic and dizygotic twin pairs and sibling pairs conditional on the pairs' sex. Correlations for twins and their spouses were derived conditional on the length of the relationship.
In the final model, correlations of the monozygotic and dizygotic twin pairs and sibling pairs were significantly different from zero, but not significantly different from each other. The correlation was estimated at 0.22. The correlation between spouses was also significant. This was mainly due to the group with a relationship longer than 5 years in which the correlation was 0.24. Burnout scores were higher in subjects whose parents had a high level of education.
There is familial clustering for burnout due to environmental factors shared by family members, explaining 22 % of the variance. Genetic factors do not seem to be of importance. The significant correlation between spouses supports the conclusion that common environment plays a role in burnout. A high parental education is one of the familial risk factors.

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    ABSTRACT: Most burnout studies focus on symptoms of burnout in relation to work-related stress. However, recent studies have found that familial factors and stress in the personal life may also be of importance. Stressful and traumatic life events influence how individuals cope with stress over the life course and may therefore be associated with burnout symptoms. This study aims to assess the associations between stressful and traumatic life events and burnout symptoms in a population-based sample of twins, adjusting for familial confounding. In this cross-sectional questionnaire-based study of 25,378 Swedish twins, odds ratios (OR) with 95 % confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using logistic regression analysis. First, the whole sample was analysed. Secondly, a matched co-twin analysis was conducted of the same-sex twin pairs discordant on burnout, in order to adjust for familial factors. A history of traumatic life events was independently associated with burnout symptoms, with a cumulative effect with increasing number of events. ORs adjusted for familial confounding: 1-3 events OR 1.58 (CI = 1.21-2.07) 4 or more events OR 2.00 (CI = 1.45-2.75). Independent associations between the stressful life events: serious family problems OR 1.71 (CI = 1.36-2.15), physical illness OR 1.44 (CI = 1.17-1.77), divorce or separation OR 1.40 (CI = 1.15-1.70), and burnout symptoms were also found. The results indicate that stressful and traumatic life events are of importance in the burnout process. This finding may have implications in efforts to prevent burnout.
    International Journal of Behavioral Medicine 01/2014; 21(6). DOI:10.1007/s12529-013-9381-3 · 2.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: This study aims to assess whether the associations between burnout and sick leave due to stress-related mental disorders, other mental disorders, and somatic conditions are influenced by familial (genetic and shared environmental) factors. Methods: In this prospective cohort study, 23,611 Swedish twins born between 1959 and 1985, who answered a web-based questionnaire, including the Pines Burnout Measure 2004-2006, were included. Registry data on sick leave spells from the response date until December 31, 2010 were obtained from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency. Logistic regression analysis was performed to assess odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals for the association between burnout and sick leave for the whole sample, while conditional logistic regression of the same-sex discordant twin pairs was used to estimate the association between burnout and sick leave, adjusting for familial confounding. The Bivariate Cholesky models were used to assess whether the covariation between burnout and sick leave was explained by common genetic and/or shared environmental factors. Results: Burnout was a risk factor for sick leave due to stress-related and other mental disorders, and these associations were explained by familial factors. The phenotypic correlation between burnout and sick leave due to somatic conditions was 0.07 and the association was not influenced by familial factors. The phenotypic correlations between burnout and sick leave due to stress-related (0.26) and other mental disorders (0.30) were completely explained by common genetic factors. Conclusions: The association between burnout and sick leave due to stress-related and other mental disorders seems to be a reflection of a shared genetic liability.
    Twin Research and Human Genetics 08/2014; DOI:10.1017/thg.2014.46 · 1.92 Impact Factor
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    05/2011, Degree: PhD, Supervisor: Maarit Johnson Petra Lindfors

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