Li, Z et al 2017 Evolution and future trends of integrated health
care: a scientometric analysis.
International Journal of Integrated
, 17(5): A260, pp. 1-8, DOI: dx.doi.org/10.5334/ijic.3571
Evolution and future trends of integrated health care: a scientometric
17th International Conference on Integrated Care, Dublin, 08-10 May 2017
Zhong Li, Yan Zhang, Liang Zhang
Tongji Medical College of Huazhong University of Science &Technology, People's Republic of China
Purpose: Confronted with the challenges of aging population, disease spectrum changes and
non-communicable diseases (NCDs) burden, integrated health care(IHC) has become popular in
recent decades. This paper aims to explore its global progress, current foci and future trends.
Methods: Data, including subject categories, countries/territories, institutions, journals,
citations, and author keywords were exported out from the Web of Science database. Firstly,
publication number and citations were calculated by the histcite12.03.07. Secondly, the co-
authorship and cluster analysis was used to evaluate the collaboration network in two levels
by the VOSviewer1.6.4. Thirdly, author keywords co-occurrence and cluster analysis were
applied to visualize the hotspots and connection between different topics by the
Results: 6127 articles were retrieved from 1997 to 2016, ranging from 92 WOS categories.
(1)The USA, UK, Canada are leading the development of IHC research with the most
publication, citation, productive institutions. (2)Research in the developing countries are
lagging out, though China, Brazil and India have achieved numerous advance; (3) Top 10 cited
papers and journals like International Journal of Integrated Care and Bio Medical Care Health
Service are playing a vital role in the knowledge distribution; 4) The 50 author keywords are
clustered into 5 groups, representing hottest research areas of IHC, including medical
informatics and quality of care, telemedicine and chronic diseases, quality of life and palliative
care, mental health and primary health care, healthcare services and policy making.
Discussion: Though numerous progress achieved, many questions remain unsolved, including
collaboration network enhancement. Some striking hotspots and possible directions of its
global development were figured out to help key stakeholders decide which one should be
priority. 1)Vertical and horizontal medical informatics integration, especially effective multi-
disciplines teamwork establishment for quality improvement; 2) Disease diagnosis and care
with the telemedicine by multidimensional quantitative analysis to launch appropriate
intervention strategies; 3) Palliative care and end of life education to reduce pains and
increase quality of life; 4) Exploring more widely-used models for mental health care and equal
access to it for all remains to be further strengthened; 5) Taking more sectors into
Li; Evolution and future trends of integrated health care: a
consideration for health-related policy making and its assessment still needs to be
Conclusion This paper confirmed that publication in IHC have increased rapidly from 1997 to
2016 with more categories involved. Additionally, a relatively sustainable-developed
collaboration networks has been established and more research areas were formed, which may
be directions for future studies.
Lessons learned: There is no “one fits all” models and the measurement framework of IHC is
urgent to be established so that to evaluate potential replication of policies or intervention
Limitations: The authors collaboration network should be pictured for researchers to find
more appropriate partners. In addition, author keywords of retrieved papers were not used
normatively even author keywords with same meaning were merged, that is why further
literature review should be carried out.
Suggestions for future research: Bibliometric analysis and systematic review of the subtitles
pointed out in this paper should be undertaken, thus describing more detailed evolution and
trends of these subtitles.
Keywords: integrated health care; scientometric analysis; network; policy making