This study aimed to investigate the association of burnout and vital exhaustion with measures of glycemic control and type 2 diabetes (T2D) in a systematic review and meta-analysis.
PubMed, Embase, and PsycINFO were searched from inception to April 2, 2020. Data extraction and quality assessment were performed using the Effective Public Health Practice Project tool. When possible, results were meta-analyzed using random-effects models and rated using the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation.
A total of 5317 titles/abstracts were screened, 140 articles were read full text, of which 29 studies were included. Eighteen studies were cross-sectional, three prospective and eight were case-control studies. Burnout and vital exhaustion were significantly associated with T2D, with a pooled odds ratio of 1.8 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.4 to 2.4, I2 = 79%; 9 studies). Glycated hemoglobin A1c levels were not significantly higher in people with burnout and vital exhaustion, compared to those without, with a pooled standardized mean difference of 0.35 (95% CI = −0.62 to 1.33, I2 = 98%; 7 studies). In addition, no differences in glucose levels were observed (standardized mean difference = 0.02, 95% CI = −0.26 to 0.30, I2 = 90%; 9 studies). Sensitivity analyses showed no decrease in heterogeneity when excluding studies with low quality (I2glucose = 89%) or studies with a study n < 40 population (I2T2D = 77%). The level of Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation evidence was moderate to low quality because of 18 studies having a cross-sectional design.
Burnout and vital exhaustion might be associated with a higher risk of T2D, but not with glycemic control. Methodological shortcomings and high heterogeneity of the studies included complicate the interpretation of our results.