Objectives. To present an overview including the history and definitions of the burnout syndrome, current views on theoretical models of this phenomenon, its dynamics and structure, as well as its prevalence and methods of measurement.
Review. Professional helpers employed in the so-called social services, using social skills as the main tool in their work, are at risk for job stress and symptoms of the burnout syndrome. The syndrome manifests itself by emotional exhaustion, instrumental attitude towards one 's partners in the interaction at workplace, and a tendency to negatively evaluate one 's own work, professional skills and achievements.
Conclusions. Thefocus on the burnout syndrome is not only of cognitive value, but also is likely to draw attention to its detrimental effects on the individual, the employing organization and the society. Moreover, possibilities of burnout prevention are expected to emerge from the research into this problem.