Female nurses’ burnout symptoms: No association with the Hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis

Yufang Guo, Louisa Lam, Yuanhui Luo, Virginia Plummer, Wendy Cross, Hui Li, Yizhen Yin, Jingping Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Across the world, hospital nurses experience a high level of burnout. Exploring biochemical markers of burnout could help to understand physiological changes and may provide useful evidence for preventing burnout symptoms. The current study included 94 female nurses from one Chinese third-level hospital. The Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey (MBI-GS) was used to investigate burnout symptoms: emotional exhaustion, cynicism, reduced professional efficacy, as well as the burnout average. The HPT axis was tested by checking blood levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), thyroxin (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Nonparametric tests showed that no significant difference in biochemical markers was found between the burnout and non-burnout groups. Spearman correlation analysis found that biochemical markers had no significant association with burnout symptoms, except weakly negative associations between reduced professional efficacy and blood pressure and heart rate. These findings show a rather poor correlation of the HPT axis on burnout symptoms. Expanding the biochemical index of the HPT axis, comparing well-defined samples and using longitudinal studies are recommended for further studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-50
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017


  • Burnout
  • Cynicism
  • Emotional exhaustion
  • Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Thyroid
  • Reduced professional efficacy
  • Stress

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