Bibliometric analysis of breast cancer-related lymphoedema research published from 2007–2016

Background: Breast cancer–related lymphoedema (BCRL) has been a poorly-researched topic; however, research productivity related to BCRL has increased within the last decade. Aims: Conduct a bibliometric analysis to characterise recent BCRL research. Methods: A search for indexed English abstracts was performed in PubMed using search terms of “(“lymphedema”[tiab] OR “lymphoedema”[tiab]) AND “breast cancer”[tiab]” from 2007–2016. Inclusion criteria were original research articles involving human subjects. Results: A total of 1,144 publications were identified, of which 570 met the inclusion criteria. The highest proportions of articles were published in 2015 and 2016. The breakdown of lymphoedema study purposes were as follows: diagnostic/educational (35.5%), treatment (30.2%), risk/risk factor (25.3%), prevention (9%). The USA (32.8%), Australia (9.6%), South Korea (6.7%), the United Kingdom (5.3%), China (3.7%) and Turkey (3.7%) produced the most BCRL research. Eight of the top 10 BCRL research institutions are in the USA, with the remaining two in Australia. Conclusions: Breast cancer–related lymphoedema research is predominantly being carried out in upper-middle- and high-income countries. In these developed countries, providers are beginning to focus on quality of life-impairing aspects of breast cancer. It is important to identify BCRL research to highlight the need for research support.

Authors

  • Paras P Vakharia

    PharmD, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, Rochester, USA

  • David Kakish

    MD candidates, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, Rochester, USA

  • Racha Tadros

    MD candidate, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, Rochester, USA

  • Justin Riutta

    Physician, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Michigan, USA

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