Open Access Research article

Burnout syndrome among dental students: a short version of the "Burnout Clinical Subtype Questionnaire" adapted for students (BCSQ-12-SS)

Jesus Montero-Marin1*, Francesca Monticelli2, Marina Casas3, Amparo Roman2, Inmaculada Tomas3, Margarita Gili45 and Javier Garcia-Campayo15

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Psychiatry. Faculty of Medicine. Zaragoza. Spain

2 Department of Surgery, Gynecology and Obstetrics. Faculty of Health and Sports. Huesca. Spain

3 Department of Stomatology. Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry. Santiago de Compostela. Spain

4 Department of Psychology. Faculty of Psychology. Mallorca. Spain

5 REDIAPP "Research Network on Preventative Activities and Health Promotion" (RD06/0018/0017

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Medical Education 2011, 11:103  doi:10.1186/1472-6920-11-103

Published: 12 December 2011



Burnout has been traditionally defined in relation to the dimensions of "exhaustion", "cynicism", and "inefficiency". More recently, the Burnout Clinical Subtype Questionnaire (BCSQ-12) further established three different subtypes of burnout: the "frenetic" subtype (related to "overload"), the "under-challenged" subtype (related to "lack of development"), and the "worn-out" subtype (related to "neglect"). However, to date, these definitions have not been applied to students. The aims of this research were (1) to adapt a Spanish version of the BCSQ-12 for use with students, (2) to test its factorial validity, internal consistency, convergent and discriminant validity, and (3) to assess potential socio-demographic and occupational risk factors associated with the development of the subtypes.


We used a cross-sectional design on a sample of dental students (n = 314) from Santiago and Huesca universities (Spain). Participants completed the Burnout Clinical Subtype Questionnaire Student Survey (BCSQ-12-SS), the Maslach Burnout Inventory Student Survey (MBI-SS), and a series of socio-demographic and occupational questions formulated for the specific purpose of this study. Data were subjected to exploratory factor analysis (EFA) using the principal component method with varimax orthogonal rotation. To assess the relations with the criterion, we calculated the Pearson correlation coefficient (r), multiple correlation coefficient (Ry.123), and the coefficient of determination (R2y.123). To assess the association between the subtypes and the socio-demographic variables, we examined the adjusted odds ratio (OR) obtained from multivariate logistic regression models.


Factorial analyses supported the theoretical proposition of the BCSQ-12-SS, with α-values exceeding 0.80 for all dimensions. The "overload-exhaustion" relation was r = 0.59 (p < 0.001), "lack of development"-"cynicism", r = 0.49 (p < 0.001), "neglect"-"inefficiency", r = 0.47 (p < 0.001). The "overload"-"lack of development" relation was r = 0.21 (p < 0.001), "overload"-"neglect", r = 0.20 (p < 0.001), and "lack of development"-"neglect", r = 0.38 (p < 0.001). The BCSQ-12-SS explained 38.44% of the variability in "exhaustion", (Ry.123 = 0.62), 30.25% in "cynicism" (Ry.123 = 0.55), and 26.01% in "inefficiency" (Ry.123 = 0.51). "Hours spent on studying" was found to be associated with "overload" (p = 0.001), "campus" with "lack of development" (p = 0.013), and ""failed subjects" with "neglect" (p = 0.011).


The results support the definition of burnout as established by the BCSQ-12-SS. As such, the BCSQ-12-SS can be used for the recognition of clinical profiles and for the suggestion of potential intervention strategies specific to the characteristics of each particular case.

burnout; subtypes; BCSQ-12-SS; dental students; factorial validity