Ankylosing spondylitis rehabilitation publications and the global productivity: a Web of Science-based bibliometric analysis (2000-2019)

Rheumatol Int. 2021 Apr 2. doi: 10.1007/s00296-021-04836-0. Online ahead of print.


Rehabilitation programs have an important place in the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis (AS), but there is no comprehensive bibliometric research that assesses publications on AS rehabilitation in a holistic way. The aim of this study was to investigate the quantity and quality of articles related to AS rehabilitation and to reveal the features of global productivity in this topic. This bibliometric study was conducted utilizing the Web of Science (WoS) database with the keywords 'ankylosing spondylitis rehabilitation', 'ankylosing spondylitis exercise', 'ankylosing spondylitis physical therapy' and 'ankylosing spondylitis physiotherapy'. The number of articles, citations, and main active countries were determined and trend analyses were performed. A total of 792 articles were reviewed. The articles originated from 51 different countries, 22 of which met the main active country criteria. A significant increase trend was detected in the number of articles between 2000 and 2019 (p < 0.001). The five most productive countries were Germany (n = 111; 14.02%), Turkey (n = 98; 12.37%), the United States (n = 71; 8.96%), the United Kingdom (n = 53; 6.69%) and the Netherlands (n = 53; 6.69%). The highest values in number of articles per million population were calculated in Norway, the Netherlands and Austria, respectively. In the analysis according to GDP, Norway, the Netherlands and Turkey were ranked as the first three. The top three countries for the average citation count were France, Netherlands and Germany. This bibliometric study can be considered as an assessment and summary of worldwide scientific production on AS rehabilitation. The data demonstrate an increasing trend in research productivity since 2000. European countries were seen to be at the forefront both quantitatively and qualitatively in this area.

Keywords: Ankylosing spondylitis; Articles; Bibliometric analysis; Rehabilitation; Web of Science.