New publication on shortening the BAT

Burnout is related to huge costs, for both individuals and organizations and is recognized as an occupational disease or work-related disorder in many European countries. Given that burnout is a major problem it is important to measure the levels of burnout in a valid and reliable way. The Burnout Assessment Tool (BAT) is a newly developed self-report questionnaire to measure burnout. So far, studies concerning the psychometric properties of the original version of the Burnout Assessment Tool (BAT) including 23 items show promising results and suggest that the instrument can be used in many different settings. For various reasons there is a need of a shorter instrument. For example, burnout questionnaires are typically included in employee surveys to evaluate psychosocial risk-factors, which according to the European Occupational Safety and Health Framework Directive, should be carried out in organizations on a regular basis. The aims of this paper are to develop a shorter version of the BAT, including only 12 items (BAT12) and to evaluate its construct validity and differential item functioning regarding age, gender and country. Using data from representative samples of working populations in the Netherlands and Belgium (Flanders) a shorter version of the BAT was developed by combining quantitative (Rasch analysis) and qualitative approaches (item content analysis and expert judgements). Construct validity of the new BAT12 was evaluated by means of Rasch analysis. In an iterative procedure, deleting one item from each subscale at each step, a short version of the BAT – BAT12 was developed. The BAT12 fulfils the measurement criteria according to the Rasch model after accounting for local dependency between items within each subscale. The four subscales can be combined into a single burnout score.

Conclusion: The new BAT12 maintains the breath of item content of the original version of the BAT and has sound psychometric properties. The scale works invariantly for older and younger, women and men and across two countries. A shorter version of the BAT is timesaving compared to the BAT23 and can be used in e.g., employee surveys (download full article).