In flight again with wings that were once broken; effects of post-traumatic growth and personal resources on burnout recovery

Judith Semeijn*, Joris Van Ruysseveldt, Greet Vonk, Tinka van Vuuren

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: Adequate recovery from burnout is important to understand. The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether post-traumatic growth (PTG) contributes to higher engagement and reduced symptoms of burnout and whether this process is mediated by personal resources.

Design/methodology/approach: In a cross-sectional survey, 166 Dutch workers who had fully recovered from burnout were questioned on their level of PTG, their personal resources (optimism, resilience and self-efficacy), and their levels of engagement and burnout.

Findings: Fully recovered workers scored somewhat higher on current burnout level, but did not differ from norm group workers in their engagement level. Moreover, PTG appeared to positively affect both higher engagement and lower burnout levels, which is fully mediated by personal resources.

Research limitations/implications: Post-traumatic growth (PTG) impacts on engagement and burnout levels amongst workers who have recovered from burnout by enhancing personal resources. The role of personal resources and the impact of PTG on engagement and burnout complaints following (recovery from) burnout deserve further investigation.

Practical implications: Management can support workers who have (recovered from a) burnout, by being aware of their (higher) engagement, and facilitate the enhancement of PTG and personal resources.

Originality/value: This study is one of the first to study the role of PTG after (recovery from) burnout and reveals valuable findings for both research and practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-403
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Workplace Health Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sep 2019


  • Engagement
  • personal resources
  • burnout complaints
  • burnout recovery

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