Bibliometric analysis of literature in cerebrovascular and cardiovascular diseases rehabilitation: Growing numbers, reducing impact factor

Donatella Ugolini, Monica Neri, Alfredo Cesario, Giuseppe Marazzi, Daniele Milazzo, Maurizio Volterrani, Luca Bennati, Stefano Bonassi, Patrizio Pasqualetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To explore temporal trends, geographic distribution, and socioeconomic determinants of scientific production in the field of cerebrovascular and cardiovascular disease (CCD) rehabilitation. Data Sources: Citations from 1967 to 2008 were downloaded from the PubMed database. Core of the search strategy was the key word cardiovascular diseases in the Medical Subject Headings major field with the subheading rehabilitation. Journal Citation Reports was used to assign an impact factor (IF). Demographic and economic data were retrieved from the International Monetary Fund. Study Selection: All articles retrieved were included in the bibliometric analysis. Data Extraction: The search strategy was validated on a random sample of the articles retrieved. The search quality reflected the level of error of the PubMed database. Data Synthesis: Publications retrieved were 10,379 and have grown 8.6 times in 40 years, faster than the all-diseases rehabilitation field (7.8 times), with a particularly steep growth for cerebrovascular diseases in the last 15 years (5 times). However, in the last decade, the articles' quality (IF) decreased. From 1994 to 2008, 3466 citations were retrieved; 44.4% came from the European Union and 30.3% from the United States. The highest mean IF was reported for France (4.127). The United Kingdom and some relatively small northern European Union countries had the best ratio of IF (sum) to resident population or to gross domestic product. The most frequently used key word was stroke, and 3 journals (Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Clinical Rehabilitation, and Stroke) published one quarter of the articles. Conclusions: The overall scientific production in the field of CCD rehabilitation showed a steep growth in the last decade, especially because of cerebrovascular research. In the same period, a decrease in the overall IF was observed. The European Union and the United States contributed 3 of every 4 articles in the field, although some Asian countries showed promising performance.

Original languageEnglish
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013


  • Bibliometrics
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Cerebrovascular disorders
  • Publications
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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