Journal of Data and Information Science ›› 2018, Vol. 3 ›› Issue (2): 1-19.doi: 10.2478/jdis-2018-0006

• Research Paper •     Next Articles

Thematic Trends in Complementary and Alternative Medicine Applied in Cancer-Related Symptoms

Jose A. Moral-Munoz1,2(), Manuel Arroyo-Morales3, Barbara F. Piper4, Antonio I. Cuesta-Vargas5, Lourdes Díaz-Rodríguez6, William C.S. Cho7, Enrique Herrera-Viedma8, Manuel J. Cobo9   

  1. 1Dept. Nursing and Physiotherapy, University of Cádiz, Cádiz, Spain;
    2Institute of Research and Innovation in Biomedical Sciences of the Province of Cádiz (INiBICA), University of Cádiz, Cádiz, Spain;
    3Dept. Physical Therapy, University of Granada, Granada, Spain
    4Dept. Nursing, School of Health and Human Services, National University, San Diego, CA, USA
    5School Clinical Science, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
    6Instituto Biosanitario (IBS), University of Granada, Granada, Spain
    7Hospital Authority, Hong Kong, China
    8Dept. Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence, University of Granada, Granada, Spain
    9Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Cádiz, Cádiz, Spain;
  • Online:2018-06-13 Published:2018-06-13


Purpose: The main goal of this study is to discover the scientific evolution of Cancer-Related Symptoms in Complementary and Alternative Medicine research area, analyzing the articles indexed in the Web of Science database from 1980 to 2013.Design/methodology/approach: A co-word science mapping analysis is performed under a longitudinal framework (1980 to 2013). The documental corpus is divided into two subperiods, 1980-2008 and 2009-2013. Thus, the performance and impact rates, and conceptual evolution of the research field are shown.Findings: According to the results, the co-word analysis allows us to identify 12 main thematic areas in this emerging research field: anxiety, survivors and palliative care, meditation, treatment, symptoms and cancer types, postmenopause, cancer pain, low back pain, herbal medicine, children, depression and insomnia, inflammation mediators, and lymphedema. The different research lines are identified according to the main thematic areas, centered fundamentally on anxiety and suffering prevention. The scientific community can use this information to identify where the interest is focused and make decisions in different ways.Research limitation: Several limitations can be addressed: 1) some of the Complementary and Alternative Medicine therapies may not have been included; 2) only the documents indexed in Web of Science are analyzed; and 3) the thematic areas detected could change if another dataset was considered.Practical implications: The results obtained in the present study could be considered as an evidence-based framework in which future studies could be built.Originality/value: Currently, there are no studies that show the thematic evolution of this research area.

Key words: Cancer-related symptoms, Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Bibliometrics, Science mapping analysis, Thematic evolution, H-index