Global Research Trend and Bibliometric Analysis of Current Studies on End-of-Life Care

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Sep 6;19(18):11176. doi: 10.3390/ijerph191811176.


The growing emphasis on evidence-based practice has led to a need for more research on healthcare disciplines, and for the synthesis and translation of that research into practice. This study explored the global research trend in regard to End-of-Life Care (EoLC), and assessed the impact and influence, on the scientific community, of relevant EoLC publications EoLC. Over 350,000 related publications on EoLC were retrieved from three databases (PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science). Our analysis of the global research trend revealed an exponential rise in the number of related publications on EoLC since the year 1837. This study assessed the bibliometric information of 547 current journal publications on EoLC, sorted by relevance, from the three databases. The USA (47.3%) and the UK (16.1%) were the most productive countries, in terms of the number of relevant publications. The bibliometric analysis also revealed which EoLC research was most impactful and influential, from different parameters including documents, authors, sources, and organisations. The keyword analysis further suggested the growing importance of advance care planning and decision-making in regard to EoLC, as well as an episodic upsurge of EoLC publications related to the COVID-19 pandemic. There were few collaborations among the prolific research on EoLC. This study recommends increased research collaboration across the globe, for wider wisdom-sharing on EoLC issues.

Keywords: End-of-Life Care; advance care; bibliometric analysis; palliative care; research trend; terminal care.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Advance Care Planning*
  • Bibliometrics
  • COVID-19*
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • Terminal Care*

Grant support

This study was conducted under the Jockey Club End-of-Life Community Care (JCECC) Project (2022-0014-001) that was initiated and funded by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust.