Chiropractic case reports: a review and bibliometric analysis

Chiropr Man Therap. 2021 Apr 28;29(1):17. doi: 10.1186/s12998-021-00374-5.


Objective: To determine publication trends, gaps, and predictors of citation of chiropractic case reports (CRs).

Methods: A bibliometric review was conducted by searching PubMed, Index to Chiropractic Literature (ICL), and Google Scholar to identify PubMed-indexed CRs, which were screened according to selection criteria. Case reports were categorized by International Classification of Disease (ICD-10) code, patient age, topic describing case management or adverse effects of care, focus being spinal or non-spinal, journal type, integrative authorship, title metrics, and citation metrics. Binary logistic regression was used to identify independent predictors of citations per year and total citations greater than the median values.

Results: The search identified 1176 chiropractic CRs meeting selection criteria. There was an increasing trend of CRs having a case management topic, non-spinal focus, non-chiropractic journal, neuromusculoskeletal-focus, diagnosis of vascular pathology, and a decreasing trend of adverse effect vascular pathology CRs. Independent predictors of greater total citations (or citation rate) included ICD-10 categories of perinatal conditions, infections, "case" in title, case management topic, and physical therapy, integrative, and dental journal type. Predictors of fewer citations included diseases of the blood, neoplasms, other findings not elsewhere classified, a title > 11 words, and multidisciplinary authorship. ICD-10 categories describing non-musculoskeletal diseases and special populations such as pediatrics, pregnancy, and perinatal conditions had few CRs.

Conclusion: Chiropractic CRs are diversifying from spine-related topics. Chiropractors are encouraged to publish objective, structured CRs within defined research gaps. Published CRs can inform the design of future research studies with a higher level of clinical relevance and evidence.

Keywords: Bibliometrics; Case reports; Chiropractic; Information science; Literature review; Musculoskeletal diseases; Spine.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Authorship*
  • Bibliometrics
  • Humans
  • Manipulation, Chiropractic / methods*
  • Periodicals as Topic / trends*
  • Publications / trends*