A comprehensive categorical and bibliometric analysis of published research articles on pediatric pain from 1975 to 2010

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Abstract

The field of pediatric pain research began in the mid-1970s and has undergone significant growth and development in recent years as evidenced by the variety of books, conferences, and journals on the topic and also the number of disciplines engaged in work in this area. Using categorical and bibliometric meta-trend analysis, this study offers a synthesis of research on pediatric pain published between 1975 and 2010 in peer-reviewed journals. Abstracts from 4256 articles, retrieved from Web of Science, were coded across 4 categories: article type, article topic, type and age of participants, and pain stimulus. The affiliation of the first author and number of citations were also gathered. The results suggest a significant increase in the number of publications over the time period investigated, with 96% of the included articles published since 1990 and most research being multiauthored publications in pain-focused journals. First authors were most often from the United States and affiliated with a medical department. Most studies were original research articles; the most frequent topics were pain characterization (39.86%), pain intervention (37.49%), and pain assessment (25.00%). Clinical samples were most frequent, with participants most often characterized as children (6-12 years) or adolescents (13-18 years) experiencing chronic or acute pain. The findings provide a comprehensive overview of contributions in the field of pediatric pain research over 35 years and offers recommendations for future research in the area.

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