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Burnout syndrome, working conditions, and health: a reality among public high school teachers in Brazil


The objective of the study was to evaluate the occurrence of Burnout Syndrome in 100 teachers of six public high schools and its correlation with working conditions in a southeast city of Brazil. Characterization of the sample occurred after application of a socio-demographic questionnaire. Evaluation of the working conditions was done by means of an Ergonomic Working Analysis. The presence of Burnout Syndrome was evaluated by means of the Maslach Burnout Inventory. The sample presented the predominance of women, with an average age of 40.4 and the majority married with children. Roughly 50% had less than 10 years of service, and more than half of the teachers taught more than 18 classes per week. Hoarseness after work was principally reported among women, which required many days off for health treatment. Environmental conditions reflect inadequacy in relation to noise, light, humidity and temperature. Presence of pain in the upper limbs was especially high among women. Risk of musculoskeletal disorders in the upper limbs predominated as moderately important to significant. We also identified an average distance walked by teachers of 1.5 Km and an average of 4.2 Kg of school supplies carried between classes. The Burnout Syndrome presented a high score for depersonalization principally among men, but it has association with both sexes. Emotional exhaustion correlates with noise, depersonalization, and personal fulfillment, in addition to the high number of weekly lessons. It can be concluded that Burnout syndrome is present among teachers, principally in terms of depersonalization, deserving the attention of government officials and the schools, as well as the teachers themselves.