Systematic review: Association of occupational information communication technology and burnout including a discussion about age as affect modifier

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftKonferenceabstrakt i tidsskriftForskningpeer review


Introduction Job burnout is a negative occupational outcome that develops due to prolonged chronic stressors during the job. Previous studies suggested that the association between ICT use and burnout is important, as ICT use might create chronic work overload during the job. For tailored job interventions, it is important to know if different age groups are differently provoked by ICT use. An author from a Finish study hypothesized that occupational ICT use affect stress most pronounced in middle aged populations. The aim of this systematic review is to summarise quantitative studies in occupational settings observing the association between Information communication technology (ICT) and burnout, additional considering age as an effect modifier. Methods A systematic review using PRISMA guideline was done through following bibliographic databases: PubMed, Web of Science, Psycinfo and the Cochrane Library. Inclusion criteria were occupational setting and considering the relevant association between ICT use and burnout. Risk of bias analysis was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa scale. Results In total 189 relevant abstracts were found. In most articles (5 out of 9) outcome measurement was based on Maslach Burnout inventory questionnaire. Results on the association of ICT use with burnout, exhaustion and depression showed a concordant picture. One intervention study showed an association of ICT-related overload with exhaustion in a 5-day intervention with exhaustion. From the eight listed cross-sectional studies, five showed a clear positive association, but three of them did not find a significant association. Four studies presented a confounding effect of age, all of them considered age linear in the final statistical model. Two studies did not find an association between age and burnout, one found a positive and one a negative association. Conclusion ICT use in occupational setting is associated with burnout. ICT use may create problems which lead to work overload and finally burnout. Confounding effect was discussed specifically in four publications, but effect modifying effect was not considered. Making the case that there is an effect modification of age on ICT use and burnout, none of the studies looked at it. Given similar studies on stress we might expect that at younger age (< 35) there is only a small or no association between ICT use and burnout. The middle age group (35–45) there is a clear positive association between ICT use and burnout, which disappears once again in the older age group (> 45). More research is necessary to consider age as effect modifier. Furthermore, age needs to be considered as categorical variable in occupational burnout analyses.
TidsskriftRevue d'Epidemiologie et de Sante Publique
Udgave nummerSupplement 5
Sider (fra-til)S408
Antal sider1
StatusUdgivet - jul. 2018
BegivenhedEuropean Congress of Epidemiology 2018: Crisis, epidemiological transitions and the role of epidemiologists - Cité Internationale, Lyon, Frankrig
Varighed: 4. jul. 20186. jul. 2018


KonferenceEuropean Congress of Epidemiology 2018
LokationCité Internationale