Oldenburg Burnout Inventory (OLBI)

Helps evaluate burnout severity based on exhaustion and disengagement statements.

Refer to the text below the inventory for more information about the OLBI and calculating the two sub-totals and final score.


The OLBI was developed as a measure of burnout, containing statements that cover both ends of the exhaustion-vigor and cynicism-dedication continua. The inventory has been extensively used in research to measure job and academic burnout.


  • Disengagement Sub-total (sum of items 1, 3, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13 and 15)
  • Exhaustion Sub-total (sum of items 2, 4, 5, 8, 10, 12, 14 and 16)
  • OLBI total score = Disengagement Sub-total + Exhaustion Sub-total
  • Note: The higher the score, the greater the level of burnout.

1I always find new and interesting aspects in my work
2There are days when I feel tired before I arrive at work
3It happens more and more often that I talk about my work in a negative way
4After work, I tend to need more time than in the past in order to relax and feel better
5I can tolerate the pressure of my work very well
6Lately, I tend to think less at work and do my job almost mechanically
7I find my work to be a positive challenge
8During my work, I often feel emotionally drained
9Over time, one can become dis-connected from this type of work
10After working, I have enough energy for my leisure activities
11Sometimes I feel sickened by my work tasks
12After my work, I usually feel worn out and weary
13This is the only type of work that I can imagine myself doing
14Usually, I can manage the amount of my work well
15I feel more and more engaged in my work
16When I work, I usually feel energized
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Oldenburg Burnout Inventory (OLBI) Explained

The OLBI was developed as a measure of burnout, containing statements that cover both ends of the exhaustion-vigor and cynicism-dedication continua. The inventory has been extensively used in research to measure job and academic burnout.

The subject is presented with a series of 16 statements, which they may agree or disagree with and is asked to indicate the degree of agreement or disagreement.

The 16 items are divided between two subscales, the items are also summed to form two sub-totals:

  • Disengagement items: 1, 3, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13 and 15;
  • Exhaustion items: 2, 4, 5, 8, 10, 12, 14 and 16.
  1. I always find new and interesting aspects in my work.
  2. There are days when I feel tired before I arrive at work.
  3. It happens more and more often that I talk about my work in a negative way.
  4. After work, I tend to need more time than in the past in order to relax and feel better.
  5. I can tolerate the pressure of my work very well.
  6. Lately, I tend to think less at work and do my job almost mechanically.
  7. I find my work to be a positive challenge.
  8. During my work, I often feel emotionally drained.
  9. Over time, one can become dis-connected from this type of work.
  10. After working, I have enough energy for my leisure activities.
  11. Sometimes I feel sickened by my work tasks.
  12. After my work, I usually feel worn out and weary.
  13. This is the only type of work that I can imagine myself doing.
  14. Usually, I can manage the amount of my work well.
  15. I feel more and more engaged in my work.
  16. When I work, I usually feel energized.

Items 1, 5, 7, 10, 13, 14, 15 and 16 are scored as follows:

  • Strongly Agree (+1);
  • Agree (+2);
  • Disagree (+3);
  • Strongly Disagree (+4).

For items 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11 and 12, the scale is reversed, with Strongly Agree answers scoring 4 and Strongly Disagree answers scoring 1.

A total OLBI score can be reached by summing the two sub-totals. The higher the score, the greater the level of burnout. Some therapists may categorize the OLBI scores under low, medium or high but no widespread consensus exists.

 

References

Original reference

Demerouti E, Bakker AB, Vardako I, Kantas A. The convergent validity of two burnout instruments. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 2003; 19(1),12–23.

Other references

Demerouti E, Bakker AB, Nachreiner F, Schaufeli WB. The job demands-resources model of burnout. J Appl Psychol. 2001; 86(3):499-512.

Delgadillo J, Saxon D, Barkham M. Associations between therapists' occupational burnout and their patients' depression and anxiety treatment outcomes. Depress Anxiety. 2018; 35(9):844-850.

Tipa RO, Tudose C, Pucarea VL. Measuring Burnout Among Psychiatric Residents Using the Oldenburg Burnout Inventory (OLBI) Instrument. J Med Life. 2019; 12(4):354-360.


Specialty: Psychiatry

Abbreviation: OLBI

Article By: Denise Nedea

Published On: November 15, 2020

Last Checked: November 15, 2020

Next Review: November 15, 2025