Measuring Burnout

Accurately measuring clinician burnout and well-being is critical to identifying solutions. Explore current validated and reliable measurement tools.

Valid and reliable instruments used to measure burnout are important not only for the purpose of empirical research but also for individuals to understand their own burnout and well-being. Organizations can leverage these tools to identify solutions that work.

Why We Need Valid and Reliable Tools to Measure Burnout

Burnout affects nearly half of all physicians and nurses. Similar trends are seen in pharmacists, dentists, and other clinicians. Despite decades of documenting the problem, its causes, and potential solutions, many questions remain.

Over the past several decades, much progress has been made in developing tools that accurately and adequately measure burnout. However, the terminology and tools used vary substantially across studies, limiting comparisons and hampering efforts to summarize outcomes.

Measurement tools help researchers find common ground among standard definitions and allow clinicians to consider their own burnout and well-being. Accurate, effective measurement tools that are widely applicable across occupations and cultures are essential to combating clinician burnout. These tools are also instrumental in improving how organizations understand burnout and can help organizations identify solutions that work best.


Reliably measuring clinician burnout is critical for the sustainability of our health care system. Tools and resources are available from the National Academy of Medicine.

Available Measurement Tools

A number of valid and reliable survey instruments currently exist to measure burnout, well-being, and other work-related dimensions. The Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience has identified, assessed, and detailed valid.

Bottom Line

Valid and reliable tools to measure burnout are essential to promoting clinician well-being. They allow researchers and organizations to more fully understand burnout and the solutions that promise a brighter, healthier future. Future research would benefit greatly from the use of instruments that have acceptable levels of reliability and validity.