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Cognitive performance in patients with burnout, in relation to diurnal salivary cortisol.

Österberg, Kai LU ; Karlson, Björn LU and M, Hansen (2009) In Stress (Amsterdam, Netherlands) 12(1). p.70-81
Abstract
This study investigated cognitive performance in patients with burnout, in relation to the flexibility of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Clinical cases with work stress-induced burnout (n = 65), and demographically matched, healthy reference subjects (n = 65), were given six neuropsychological tests and a self-rating scale for cognitive problems. Diurnal salivary cortisol was measured among burnout cases and an external reference group (n = 174), including a dexamethasone suppression test (DST) among burnout cases. Compared with referents, the burnout group under-performed in a cognitive speed test (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised (WAIS-R) Digit Symbol), but not in any other test of sustained attention, episodic... (More)
This study investigated cognitive performance in patients with burnout, in relation to the flexibility of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Clinical cases with work stress-induced burnout (n = 65), and demographically matched, healthy reference subjects (n = 65), were given six neuropsychological tests and a self-rating scale for cognitive problems. Diurnal salivary cortisol was measured among burnout cases and an external reference group (n = 174), including a dexamethasone suppression test (DST) among burnout cases. Compared with referents, the burnout group under-performed in a cognitive speed test (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised (WAIS-R) Digit Symbol), but not in any other test of sustained attention, episodic memory, or vocabulary. Burnout cases had considerably more subjective cognitive problems, but ratings were unrelated to test performance. Compared with referents, burnout cases had similar morning salivary cortisol levels and similar awakening response, but lower evening cortisol. Among burnout cases, lower diurnal cortisol variability was related to slower performance in several tests. The DST response showed no consistent relationship with any cognitive parameter. Hence, despite considerable subjective cognitive problems, the burnout group showed only a partial, mild deviation in cognitive performance. A flatter diurnal cortisol profile was related to lower cognitive processing speed, but diurnal cortisol pattern and DST response were normal, suggesting a maintained HPA axis flexibility. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Stress (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
volume
12
issue
1
pages
70 - 81
publisher
Informa Healthcare
external identifiers
  • wos:000262109800007
  • pmid:18951245
  • scopus:58149117627
ISSN
1607-8888
DOI
10.1080/10253890802049699
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
7eed356d-f15f-485c-8aac-3c419387f989 (old id 1261945)
alternative location
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18951245?dopt=Abstract
date added to LUP
2008-11-04 11:54:16
date last changed
2017-11-19 03:45:56
@article{7eed356d-f15f-485c-8aac-3c419387f989,
  abstract     = {This study investigated cognitive performance in patients with burnout, in relation to the flexibility of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Clinical cases with work stress-induced burnout (n = 65), and demographically matched, healthy reference subjects (n = 65), were given six neuropsychological tests and a self-rating scale for cognitive problems. Diurnal salivary cortisol was measured among burnout cases and an external reference group (n = 174), including a dexamethasone suppression test (DST) among burnout cases. Compared with referents, the burnout group under-performed in a cognitive speed test (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised (WAIS-R) Digit Symbol), but not in any other test of sustained attention, episodic memory, or vocabulary. Burnout cases had considerably more subjective cognitive problems, but ratings were unrelated to test performance. Compared with referents, burnout cases had similar morning salivary cortisol levels and similar awakening response, but lower evening cortisol. Among burnout cases, lower diurnal cortisol variability was related to slower performance in several tests. The DST response showed no consistent relationship with any cognitive parameter. Hence, despite considerable subjective cognitive problems, the burnout group showed only a partial, mild deviation in cognitive performance. A flatter diurnal cortisol profile was related to lower cognitive processing speed, but diurnal cortisol pattern and DST response were normal, suggesting a maintained HPA axis flexibility.},
  author       = {Österberg, Kai and Karlson, Björn and M, Hansen},
  issn         = {1607-8888},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {70--81},
  publisher    = {Informa Healthcare},
  series       = {Stress (Amsterdam, Netherlands)},
  title        = {Cognitive performance in patients with burnout, in relation to diurnal salivary cortisol.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10253890802049699},
  volume       = {12},
  year         = {2009},
}