Interventions to Reduce Burnout in Students: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Daniel J. Madigan*, Lisa Kim, Hanna L. Glandorf

*Corresponding author for this work

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Burnout is common among students and can negatively influence their motivation,
performance, and wellbeing. However, there is currently little consensus regarding how to intervene effectively. Consequently, we provide the first systematic review and meta-analysis of studies examining the effectiveness of interventions aimed at reducing burnout in students. A systematic literature search returned 17 studies (10 randomized controlled trials and 7 quasi-experimental trials), which included 2,462 students from secondary and tertiary levels of education. These studies used a range of interventions (e.g., mindfulness, rational emotive behavior therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy). When the effects were aggregated across interventions, there was evidence for their effectiveness in reducing total burnout (g+ = 0.90, p = .02, 95% CI: [0.04, 1.75], k = 14). However, we also found evidence for moderation and nonsignificant effects when certain symptoms, designs, and intervention-types were examined. The strongest evidence for effectiveness was for randomized controlled trials, rational emotive behavior therapy, and mindfulness-based interventions. This review provides initial evidence for the efficacy of interventions in reducing burnout in students, but we note that a more systematic examination of particular intervention types, especially those designed to target the organisational-level, would be useful, and to have the most impact in informing policy, so too are studies examining the cost effectiveness of such interventions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychology of Education
Early online date3 Aug 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Aug 2023

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© The Author(s) 2023

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