Burnout and professional quality of life among Israeli dentists: the role of sensory processing sensitivity

Joseph Meyerson, Marc Gelkopf, Ilana Eli, Nir Uziel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: Dentistry is a stressful and exhausting profession with high levels of burnout. Sensory processing sensitivity (SPS) is a basic personality trait characterised by a gradient of sensitivity to both internal and external stimuli, including social and emotional cues. In this study, the influence of SPS on burnout and professional quality of life among Israeli dentists was analysed. Methods: Two-hundred and forty-three Israeli dentists responded to questionnaires that collected information on their SPS and professional quality of life (burnout, satisfaction at work and level of secondary traumatic stress), as well demographic variables, professional specialisation and workload. Results: Linear regression analyses showed that burnout can be predicted by the three aspects of SPS (ease of excitation, low sensory threshold and aesthetic sensitivity; 32% of the variance). Additionally, the same three aspects of SPS also predicted dentists’ satisfaction at work (24% of the variance). Ease of excitation and low sensory threshold, but not aesthetic sensitivity, predicted dentists’ reaction to their patients’ stress and trauma (23% of the variance). Conclusions: Sensory processing sensitivity can serve as a tool to identify dentists who are prone to develop burnout and whose professional quality of life can be adversely affected by their profession.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-37
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Dental Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 FDI World Dental Federation


  • Dentistry
  • burnout
  • compassion satisfaction
  • professional quality of life
  • secondary traumatic stress
  • sensory processing sensitivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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