The aim of this study is to analyse the development of Scandinavian research on complementary and alternative medicine in terms of publication pattern and general content. Furthermore we will map research networks.
This study is based on bibliometric methods. The dataset consists of 1441 publications with at least one author with a Scandinavian address and/or organisational affiliation, from 2005-2017, in Medline and Web of Science.
Complementary and alternative medicine is a small and moderately growing research field in Scandinavia, with an average of 120 publications per year. The largest sub-term is integrative and complementary medicine, but the majority of documents are classified as other medical sub-fields. A similar pattern is found regarding the sources. The Medical Subject Heading classifications of the documents and the author keywords indicate that much of the relevant research takes a general focus on complementary and alternative medicine. Regarding specific therapies, mind-body and sensory art therapies are particularly prominent in the material. Various aspects of pain, mental health and gynaecology are recurrent health issues. In total, 31.5% of the publications are classified as clinical trials. The organisations referenced most frequently in the material are Karolinska Institutet and UiT Tromsö and it is clear the research is based at large universities and university hospitals. The research networks have relatively different profiles and collaborate with both Scandinavian and international organisations.