Maslach Burnout Inventory

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Maslach Burnout Inventory
Purposeintrospective psychological inventory pertaining to occupational burnout

The Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) is an introspective psychological inventory consisting of 22 items pertaining to occupational burnout.[1] The original form of the MBI was constructed by Christina Maslach and Susan E. Jackson with the goal to assess an individual's experience of burnout.[2] The MBI measures three dimensions of burnout: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment.[1] The MBI takes between 10–15 minutes to complete and can be administered to individuals or groups.[3]

Following the publication of the MBI in 1981, new versions of the MBI were gradually developed to fit different groups and different settings.[1] There are five versions of the MBI: Human Services Survey (MBI-HSS), Human Services Survey for Medical Personnel (MBI-HSS (MP)), Educators Survey (MBI-ES), General Survey (MBI-GS),[4] and General Survey for Students (MBI-GS (S)).[1]

An analysis of 84 published studies that report sample-specific reliability estimates for the three MBI scales found that the scales have strong reliability.[5][6] Since the proposal of the Job Demands-Resources (JD-R) perspective on burnout,[7] the MBI has shown strong relationships with job demands and resources.[8][9] The MBI has been validated for human services populations,[10][11][12][13] educator populations,[14][15][16] and general work populations.[17][18][19][20][21]

The MBI is often combined with the Areas of Worklife Survey (AWS) to assess levels of burnout and worklife context.[22]

Uses of the Maslach Burnout Inventory[3][edit]

  • Assess professional burnout in human service, education, business, and government professions.
  • Assess and validate the three-dimensional structure of burnout.
  • Understand the nature of burnout for developing effective interventions.

Maslach Burnout Inventory Scales[1][edit]

Emotional Exhaustion (EE)[edit]

The 9-item Emotional Exhaustion (EE) scale measures feelings of being emotionally overextended and exhausted at one's work. Higher scores correspond to greater experienced burnout. This scale is used in the MBI-HSS, MBI-HSS (MP), and MBI-ES versions.

The MBI-GS and MBI-GS (S) use a shorter 5-item version of this scale called "Exhaustion".

Depersonalization (DP)[edit]

The 5-item Depersonalization (DP) scale measures an unfeeling and impersonal response toward recipients of one's service, care, treatment, or instruction. Higher scores correspond to greater degrees of experienced burnout. This scale is used in the MBI-HSS, MBI-HSS (MP) and the MBI-ES versions.

Personal Accomplishment (PA)[edit]

The 8-item Personal Accomplishment (PA) scale measures feelings of competence and successful achievement in one's work with people. Lower scores correspond to greater experienced burnout. This scale is used in the MBI-HSS, MBI-HSS (MP), and MBI-ES versions.


The 5-item Cynicism scale measures an indifference or a distance attitude towards one's work. The cynicism measured by this scale is a coping mechanism for distancing oneself from exhausting job demands. Higher scores correspond to greater experienced burnout. This scale is used in the MBI-GS and MBI-GS (S) versions.

Professional Efficacy[edit]

The 6-item Professional Efficacy scale measures feelings of competence and successful achievement in one's work. This sense of personal accomplishment emphasizes effectiveness and success in having a beneficial impact on people. Lower scores correspond to greater experienced burnout. This scale is used in the MBI-GS and MBI-GS (S) versions.

Forms of the Maslach Burnout Inventory[1][edit]

The MBI has five validated forms composed of 16-22 items to measure an individual's experience of burnout.

Maslach Burnout Inventory - Human Services Survey (MBI-HSS)[edit]

The MBI-HSS consists of 22 items and is the original and most widely used version of the MBI. It was designed for professionals in human services and is appropriate for respondents working in a diverse array of occupations, including nurses, physicians, health aides, social workers, health counselors, therapists, police, correctional officers, clergy, and other fields focused on helping people live better lives by offering guidance, preventing harm, and ameliorating physical, emotional, or cognitive problems. The MBI-HSS scales are Emotional Exhaustion, Depersonalization, and Personal Accomplishment.

Maslach Burnout Inventory - Human Services Survey for Medical Personnel (MBI-HSS (MP))[edit]

The MBI-HSS (MP) is a variation of the MBI-HSS adapted for medical personnel. The most notable alteration is this form refers to "patients" instead of "recipients". The MBI-HSS (MP) scales are Emotional Exhaustion, Depersonalization, and Personal Accomplishment.

Maslach Burnout Inventory - Educators Survey (MBI-ES)[edit]

The MBI-ES consists of 22 items and is a version of the original MBI for use with educators. It was designed for teachers, administrators, other staff members, and volunteers working in any educational setting. This form was formerly known as MBI-Form Ed. The MBI-ES scales are Emotional Exhaustion, Depersonalization, and Personal Accomplishment.

Maslach Burnout Inventory - General Survey (MBI-GS)[edit]

The MBI-GS consists of 16 items and is designed for use with occupational groups other than human services and education, including those working in jobs such as customer service, maintenance, manufacturing, management, and most other professions. The MBI-GS scales are Exhaustion, Cynicism, and Professional Efficacy.

Maslach Burnout Inventory - General Survey for Students (MBI-GS (S))[edit]

The MBI-GS (S) is an adaptation of the MBI-GS designed to assess burnout in college and university students. It is available for use but its psychometric properties are not yet documented. The MBI-GS (S) scales are Exhaustion, Cynicism, and Professional Efficacy.

Scoring the Maslach Burnout Inventory[edit]

All MBI items are scored using a 7 level frequency scale from "never" to "daily." Initial development had 3 components: emotional exhaustion (9 items), depersonalization (5 items) and personal achievement (8 items). Each scale measures its own unique dimension of burnout. Scales should not be combined to form a single burnout scale. Scales include reverse-scored items. Maslach, Jackson and Leiter (1996) describe item scoring from 0 to 6. While a common convention is to avoid zeros for scales, one should be aware that altering the original 0-6 scores will not align with categories of each scale. There are score ranges that define Low, Moderate and High levels of each component/scale based on the 0-6 scoring. Using a 1-7 scale with the original category ranges will inflate the number of people in the upper 2 categories. Further, comparisons with existing literature may be misleading.[23]

The 7-level frequency scale for all MBI scales is as follows:

Never (0)
A few times a year or less (1)
Once a month or less (2)
A few times a month (3)
Once a week (4)
A few times a week (5)
Every day (6)

Examples of use[edit]

The Maslach Burnout Inventory has been used in a variety of studies to study burnout, including with health professionals[24][25] and teachers.[26][27]


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  2. ^ Maslach, C.; Jackson, S.E. (1981). "The measurement of experienced burnout". Journal of Occupational Behavior. 2 (2): 99–113. doi:10.1002/job.4030020205.
  3. ^ a b "Maslach Burnout Inventory Product Specs". Retrieved 21 November 2017.
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