BACKGROUND: Stress-related health problems (e.g., work-related exhaustion) are a societal concern in many postindustrial countries. Experience suggests that early detection and intervention are crucial in preventing long-term negative consequences. In the present study, we benchmark a new tool for early identification of work-related exhaustion-the Lund University Checklist for Incipient Exhaustion (LUCIE)-against other contextually relevant inventories and two contemporary Swedish screening scales.
METHODS: A cross-sectional population sample (n = 1355) completed: LUCIE, Karolinska Exhaustion Disorder Scale (KEDS), Self-reported Exhaustion Disorder Scale (s-ED), Shirom-Melamed Burnout Questionnaire (SMBQ), Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES-9), Job Content Questionnaire (JCQ), Big Five Inventory (BFI), and items concerning work-family interference and stress in private life.
RESULTS: Increasing signs of exhaustion on LUCIE were positively associated with signs of exhaustion on KEDS and s-ED. The prevalence rates were 13.4, 13.8 and 7.8 %, respectively (3.8 % were identified by all three instruments). Increasing signs of exhaustion on LUCIE were also positively associated with reports of burnout, job demands, stress in private life, family-to-work interference and neuroticism as well as negatively associated with reports of job control, job support and work engagement.
CONCLUSIONS: LUCIE, which is intended to detect pre-stages of ED, exhibits logical and coherent positive relations with KEDS and s-ED as well as other conceptually similar inventories. The results suggest that LUCIE has the potential to detect mild states of exhaustion (possibly representing pre-stages to ED) that if not brought to the attention of the healthcare system and treated, may develop in to ED. The prospective validity remains to be evaluated.
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