© 2015 Hung et al. Background Evidence-based medicine (EBM) has developed as the dominant paradigm of assessment of evidence that is used in clinical practice. Since its development, EBM has been applied to integrate the best available research into diagnosis and treatment with the purpose of improving patient care. In the EBM era, a hierarchy of evidence has been proposed, including various types of research methods, such as meta-analysis (MA), systematic review (SRV), randomized controlled trial (RCT), case report (CR), practice guideline (PGL), and so on. Although there are numerous studies examining the impact and importance of specific cases of EBM in clinical practice, there is a lack of research quantitatively measuring publication trends in the growth and development of EBM. Therefore, a bibliometric analysis was constructed to determine the scientific productivity of EBM research over decades. Methods NCBI PubMed database was used to search, retrieve and classify publications according to research method and year of publication. Joinpoint regression analysis was undertaken to analyze trends in research productivity and the prevalence of individual research methods. Findings Analysis indicates that MA and SRV, which are classified as the highest ranking of evidence in the EBM, accounted for a relatively small but auspicious number of publications. For most research methods, the annual percent change (APC) indicates a consistent increase in publication frequency. MA, SRV and RCT show the highest rate of publication growth in the past twenty years. Only controlled clinical trials (CCT) shows a non-significant reduction in publications over the past ten years. Conclusions Higher quality research methods, such as MA, SRV and RCT, are showing continuous publication growth, which suggests an acknowledgement of the value of these methods. This study provides the first quantitative assessment of research method publication trends in EBM.
Hung, B. T., Long, N. P., Hung, L. P., Luan, N. T., Anh, N. H., Nghi, T. D., … Hirayama, K. (2015). Research trends in Evidence-Based medicine:A joinpoint regression analysis of more than 50 years of publication data. PLoS ONE, 10(4). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0121054