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Research Trends from 2010 to 2020 for Pain Treatment with Acupuncture: A Bibliometric Analysis

Authors Gao Z, Zhang J, Liu GF, Ji LX

Received 13 January 2021

Accepted for publication 3 March 2021

Published 9 April 2021 Volume 2021:14 Pages 941—952

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JPR.S300911

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Houman Danesh


Zhen Gao,1 Jing Zhang,2 Gao-Feng Liu,3 Lai-Xi Ji4

1Acupuncture and Tuina School/The 3rd Teaching Hospital, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu, Sichuan, People’s Republic of China; 2Affiliated Hospital of Shanxi University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Taiyuan, Shanxi, People’s Republic of China; 3Graduate Faculty, Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin, People’s Republic of China; 4Graduate Faculty, Shanxi University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Taiyuan, Shanxi, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence: Lai-Xi Ji
Shanxi University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Taiyuan, Shanxi, People’s Republic of China
Tel +86 13509714277
Email [email protected]

Background: Given that acupuncture treatment for pain has gradually been accepted by researchers from various countries. However, few bibliometric analyses have been performed on the published articles. The objective of this research was to review its application for pain in recent 10 years and analyze, demonstrate and evaluate the trends, major research hotspots and frontier areas.
Methods: The Web of Science retrieved literature from 2010 to 2020 on acupuncture for pain. The CiteSpace and Excel were used to analyze annual volumes of publications, journals, cited journals, countries, institutions, authors, cited authors, references and keywords and to draw collaborative networks and reference co-citation network maps.
Results: The search finally included 4227 related studies. Results show that the number of annual publications has been increasing gradually. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med (366) was the most productive journal, while Pain (2270/0.04) ranked first in terms of frequency and centrality of cited journals, respectively. Among countries/institutions, the China (1252) and the Kyung Hee University (228) ranked first. Lee MS (51 articles) was the most effective author while MacPherson H (577) was the most cited author. The most frequently cited reference was a systematic review of individual patient data on acupuncture for chronic pain (322). “Burden” was identified as a frontier research item for 2017– 2020.
Conclusion: This study provides a new and in-depth understanding of current acupuncture used for the treatment of pain. We anticipate that this study will stimulate international cooperation among research teams to advance the field.

Keywords: acupuncture, pain, CiteSpace, co-citation analysis, co-occurrence analysis

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