Correlation between Burnout Syndrome and Anxiety in Military Personnel

Open access


Professional military personnel are exposed to a large number of stressors every day at a higher rate than the civilian population, which can lead to psychological disturbances, primarily anxiety, as well as burnout syndrome. Th e aim of our investigation was to determine the correlation between burnout syndrome and anxiety in military personnel of the Serbian Armed Forces. Th e cross-sectional study included a total of 311 professional military personnel (officers, non-commissioned officers and professional soldiers), between 23 to 53 years of age (35.3±7 years, on the average) without previous diagnosis of mental disorder. For purpose of this study we used Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) and Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI). MBI contains three subscales, which measure three components of burnout: Emotional exhaustion (EE), Depersonalization (DP) and Personal accomplishment (PA). Th e statistical analysis included parametric and non-parametric descriptive statistics. Th e highest level of burnout was measured on the subscales Emotional exhaustion (EE) in military personnel from 23 to 30 years old (p<0.05), while anxiety increased with age of military personnel (p<0.001). Total scores on the subscales Emotional exhaustion (EE) and Depersonalization (DP) increased, while on the subscale Personal accomplishment (PA) decreased with the increase of the total BAI score (p<0.001). Th ere was a correlation between burnout syndrome and anxiety in professional military personnel of Serbian Armed Forces. Improving the financial situation, paid recreational breaks and reduction of professional obligations could decrease anxiety and affect the prevention of the occurrence of burnout syndrome in the military environment.

1. Jones N, Seddon R, Fear N, McAllister P, Wessely S, Greenberg N. Leadership, cohesion, morale and the mental health of UK Armed Forces in Afganistan. Psychiatry: Interpersonal and Biological Processes. 2012;75(1):49-59 .

2. Pickett T, Rothman D, Crawford EF, Brancu M, Fairbank JA, Kudler HS. Mental Health Among Military Personnel and Veterans. N C Med J. 2015;76(5):299-306.

3. Dedić G, Kostić P. Causes of frustration of soldiers in adaptation period on military environment. Vojnosanit Pregl. 2001;58(6):621-630.

4. Maslach, C. Burnout: a multidimensional perspective. In Schaufeli, W.B., Maslach, C. and Marek, T. (Eds), Professional Burnout: Recent Developments in Theory and Research, Taylor & Francis, Washington, DC, 1993; pp. 19-32.

5. Maslach C, Schaufeli WB, Leiter MP. Job burnout. Annu Rev Psychol. 2001;52: 397-422.

6. Popov B, Miljanović M, Stojaković M, Matanović J. Work stressors, distress and burnout: the role of coping strategies. Primenjena psihologija. 2013;6(4):355-370.

7. Maslach, C., Jackson, S.E. and Leiter, M.P. MBI: The Maslach Burnout Inventory: Manual. Palo Alto, CA. Consulting Psychologists Press, 1996.

8. Vermetten E, Greenberg N, Boeschoten MA, Delahaije R, Jetly R, Castro CA, McFarlane AC.. Deploymentrelated mental health support: comparative analysis of NATO and allied ISAF partners. Eur J Psychotraumatol. 2014:14(5). doi:

9. Balandiz H, Bolu A. Forensic mental health evaluations of military personnel with traumatic life event in a university hospital in Ankara, Turkey. Forensic Leg Med. 2017;(51):51-56. doi:

10. Dedić G. Kvalitet života vojnika u periodu adaptacije na vojnu sredinu. Vojnosanit Pregl. 2003;60(3):305-314.

11. Ahmed I, Banu H, AL-Fageer R, AL-Suwaidi R. Cognitive emotions: depression and anxiety in medical students and staff. J Crit Care. 2009;24(3):1-7.

12. Dudek D, Jaeschke R, Styczen´ K, Pilecki M. (). Depression and anxiety in the practice of cardiology. Kardiol Pol 2013;71(8):781-786.

13. Ding Y, Qu J, Yu X, Wang S. The mediating effects of burnout on the relationship between anxiety symptoms and occupational stress among community healthcare workers in China: a cross-sectional study, PLoS One. 2014;11;9(9):e107130. doi:

14. Brownlow JA, Klingaman EA, Boland EM, Brewster GS, Gehrman PR. Psychiatric disorders moderate the relationship between insomnia and cognitive problems in military soldiers. J Affect Disord. 2017;15(221):25-30

15. Zhou J, Yang Y, Qiu X, Yang X, Pan H, Ban B. Relationship between Anxiety and Burnout among Chinese Physicians: A Moderated Mediation Model. PLoS ONE 2016;11(8): e0157013 doi:

16. Wang H, Zhang R, Chen Y, Wang H, Zhang Y, Gan J, Zhang L, Tan Q. Social anxiety disorder in the Chinese military: prevalence, comorbidities, impairment and treatment-seeking. Psychiatry Res. 2014;220(3):903-8.

17. Shelef L, Dotan S, Kaminsky D, Kedem R, Margulis A, Hassidim A. Relationship between anxiety and medical disorders among compulsory military service candidates between the years 1998-2013. Psychiaty Res. 2016;30(244):339-44.

18. Mather AA, Stein MB, Sareen J. Social anxiety disorder and social fears in the Canadian military: prevalence, comorbidity, impairment and treatment-seeking. J Psychiatr Res. 2010;44(14):887-93.

19. Adler AB, Adrian AL, Hemphill M, Scaro NH, Sipos ML, Thomas JL. Professional Stress and Burnout in U.S. Military Medical Personnel Deployed to Afghanistan. Mil Med. 2017;182(3):e1669-e1676. doi:

20. Lang GM, Patrician P, Steele N. Comparison of nurse burnout across Army hospital practice environments. J Nurs Scholarsh. 2012;44(3):274-83. doi:

21. Hu S, Wang JN, Liu L, Wu H, Yang X, Wang Y, Wang L. The association between work-related characteristic and job burnout among Chinese correctional officers: a cross-sectional survey. Public Health. 2015;129(9):1172-8. doi:

22. Briones Mella D, Kinkead Boutin AP. Burnout and Coping Strategies in Male Staff from National Police in Valparaíso, Chile. Iran J Public Health. 2013;42(9):950-9.

23. Vojvodic A, Dedic G, Djukic-Dejanovic S. Defense mechanisms and quality of life in military personnel with burnout syndrome. Vojnosanit pregl. 2017; DOI:

24. Erić-Marinković J, Dotlić R, Janošević S, Kocev N, Gajić M, Ille T, Stanisavljević D, Babić D. Statistics for researchers in the field of medical sciences, Beograd: Medicinski fakultet, 2011.

25. Maslach, C., Jackson, S. The Maslach Burnout Inventary. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologistats Pres, 1981

26. Beck, AT, Brown, G, Epstein, N, Steer, RA. An Inventory for Measuring Clinical Anxiety: Psychometric Properties. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 1988;56:893-897.

27. Dedić G. Soldier’s adaptation on military environment. Beograd: Novinsko-izdavački centar Vojska, 2001

28. Pflanz S, Sonnek S. Work stress in the military: prevalence, causes, and relationship to emotional health. Mil Med. 2002;167(11):877-82

29. Dedic G. Burnout syndrome. Vojnosanit Pregl 2005;62(11):851-855.

30. Nowakowska I, Rasińska R, Głowacka D. The influence of factors of work environment and burnout syndrome on self-efficacy of medical staff. Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine. 2016;23(2):304-9.

31. Tarcan M, Hikmet N, Schooley B, Top M, Tarcan GY. An analysis of the relationship between burnout, sociodemographic and workplace factors and job satisfaction among emergency department health professionals. Appl Nurs Res. 2017;34:40-47.

32. Tuithof M, Ten Have M, Beekman A, van Dorsselaer S, Kleinjan M, Schaufeli W, de Graaf. R. The interplay between emotional exhaustion, common mental disorders, functioning and healthcare use in the working population. J Psychosom Res. 2017;100:8-14.

33. Dedić G. Defences mechanisms in adaptation period of soldiers on military environment. Vojnosanit Pregl 2000;57(4):393-401

Serbian Journal of Experimental and Clinical Research

The Journal of Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Kragujevac

Journal Information

CiteScore 2017: 0.21

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.126
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.081


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 58 58 22
PDF Downloads 42 42 14