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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2012, Vol. 10 ›› Issue (6): 597-603.doi: 10.3736/jcim20120601

• Literature Research •     Next Articles

Analysis of the status and trends of international research in complementary and alternative medicine based on literature mining

Yuan-yuan Tong1(), Wei He1, Ce Yang2, Bin Zhang3, Jian Du3, Ying-kai Zhao1   

  1. 1. Intelligence Center on Traditional Chinese Medicine, Institute of Information on Traditional Chinese Medicine, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100700, China
    2. Information Technology Research Center, Institute of Information on Traditional Chinese Medicine, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100700, China
    3. Deportment of Information Service, Institute of Medical Information/Medical Library, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100005, China
  • Received:2012-02-02 Accepted:2012-02-27 Online:2012-06-20 Published:2018-06-15
  • Contact: Yuan-yuan Tong

Objective: To have an overview of the international status and trends of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) research, and to provide a reference tool for researchers.
Methods: Taking PubMed as the retrieval source, and using the methods of informetrics analysis (such as Price’s Law of exponential growth, Bradford’s law) and text mining (association rules), CAM articles published between 1998 and 2010 were statistically analyzed on, for example, document growth, core journals and active fields.
Results: The literature about CAM research published between 1998 and 2010 showed the trends of exponential growth in quantity. Regional distribution of literature was extensive; China and the United States were the two major sources. Forty-five periodicals were selected from core journals based on Bradford’s law of scattering; some colleges and schools constituted the main force in research on CAM. The active fields mainly focus on (1) acupuncture research; (2) phytotherapy research; (3) mind-body medicine; (4) integrative medicine; (5) treatment and prevention of key conditions such as neoplasm, low back pain, mental disorder and chronic diseases.
Conclusion: (1) CAM research has attracted attention from all over the world, and it will enter a rapid development stage in the future; (2) Treatment and prevention of neoplasm is a consistent key subject and research field in global CAM research; (3) Elucidating clinical effects, mechanisms of action, and safety of major CAM methods contitutes the most important task; (4) Studies on mind-body medicine have increased in recent years, so clinical evaluation and studies of mind-body interventions should be supported; (5) Research has been done increasingly for identification of the clinical effects and biological mechanisms of CAM interventions in symptom management; (6) Research on CAM will stimulate the development of modern medical model; (7) TCM is an active discipline of CAM, and China will thus face increasing challenges.

Key words: complementary therapies, bibliometrics, information research, literature

Figure 1

Year distribution of the CAM documents in PubMed from 1998 to 2010 CAM: complementary and alternative medicine."

Figure 2

Price’s curve of CAM research documents CAM: complementary and alternative medicine."

Figure 3

Country and region distribution of the documents of CAM in PubMed from 1998 to 2010 CAM: complementary and alternative medicine."

Table 1

High productivity institutions of CAM research in PubMed from 1998 to 2010"

No. Institution name Quantity of published papers
1 University of Exeter, UK 270
2 Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, China 244
3 China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, China 225
4 Kyung Hee University, Korea 177
5 University of Minnesota, USA 153
6 Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research, USA 131
7 West China Hospital, Sichuan University, China 105
8 Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, USA 88
9 California State University, USA 61
10 University of New South Wales, Australia 55

Table 2

The core periodicals in CAM research in PubMed from 1998 to 2010"

No. Abbreviated journal title Number of published papers Impact factor*
1 Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi 1 608
2 J Ethnopharmacol 1 079 2.466
3 Zhongguo Zhen Jiu 1 074
4 Planta Med 1 045 2.368
5 Phytother Res 1 011 1.878
6 J Altern Complement Med 998 1.684
7 Fitoterapia 850 1.363
8 J Tradit Chin Med 786 0.078
9 Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao 661
10 Phytomedicine 599 2.661
11 J Manipulative Physiol Ther 500 1.417
12 Altern Ther Health Med 454 1.215
13 Am J Chin Med 418 1.383
14 Complement Ther Med 370 1.483
15 Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi 349
16 Int J Clin Exp Hypn 272
17 Zhen Ci Yan Jiu 251
18 Homeopathy 248 1.000
19 Acupunct Med 228 1.381
20 Cochrane Database Syst Rev 221 5.652
21 Am J Clin Hypn 205
22 Beginnings 203
23 Holist Nurs Pract 193
24 Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 190 2.963
25 Explore-NY 189 0.795
26 BMC Complement Altern Med 175 2.195
27 Complement Ther Clin Pract 173
28 Complement Ther Nurs Midwifery 173
29 Neurosci Lett 173
30 Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback 167 2.055
31 Chin J Integr Med 159 0.578
32 J Music Ther 155
33 J Acoust Soc Am 150 1.644
34 Zhong Yao Cai 146
35 Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd 142
36 Vopr Kurortol Fizioter Lech Fiz Kult 141
37 J Holist Nurs 133
38 World J Gastroenterol 130
39 Acupunct Electrother Res 124
40 Forsch Komplementmed 120 1.059
41 Biol Pharm Bull 119 1.811
42 Integr Cancer Ther 118 1.716
43 MMW Fortschr Med 113
44 Scientific World Journal 113
45 Zhonghua Yi Shi Za Zhi 113
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