Burnout among psychotherapists: a cross-cultural value survey among 12 European countries during the coronavirus disease pandemic

Angelika Van Hoy, Marcin Rzeszutek, Małgorzata Pięta, Jose M. Mestre, Álvaro Rodríguez-Mora, Nick Midgley, Joanna Omylinska-Thurston, Anna Dopierala, Fredrik Falkenström, Jennie Ferlin, Vera Gergov, Milica Lazić, Randi Ulberg, Jan Ivar Røssberg, Camellia Hancheva, Stanislava Stoyanova, Stefanie J. Schmidt, Ioana Podina, Nuno Ferreira, Antonios KagialisHenriette Löffler-Stastka, Ewa Gruszczyńska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was to examine cross-cultural differences, as operationalized by Schwartz's refined theory of basic values, in burnout levels among psychotherapists from 12 European countries during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. We focused on the multilevel approach to investigate if individual- and country-aggregated level values could explain differences in burnout intensity after controlling for sociodemographic, work-related characteristics and COVID-19-related distress among participants. 2915 psychotherapists from 12 countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Finland, Great Britain, Serbia, Spain, Norway, Poland, Romania, Sweden, and Switzerland) participated in this study. The participants completed the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Human Service Survey, the revised version of the Portrait Values Questionnaire, and a survey questionnaire on sociodemographic, work-related factors and the COVID-19 related distress. In general, the lowest mean level of burnout was noted for Romania, whereas the highest mean burnout intensity was reported for Cyprus. Multilevel analysis revealed that burnout at the individual level was negatively related to self-transcendence and openness-to-change but positively related to self-enhancement and conservation values. However, no significant effects on any values were observed at the country level. Male sex, younger age, being single, and reporting higher COVID-19-related distress were significant burnout correlates. Burnout among psychotherapists may be a transcultural phenomenon, where individual differences among psychotherapists are likely to be more important than differences between the countries of their practice. This finding enriches the discussion on training in psychotherapy in an international context and draws attention to the neglected issue of mental health among psychotherapists in the context of their professional functioning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13527
Number of pages1
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2022


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