We aimed to build a model to qualitatively and quantitatively evaluate publications of research of spinal cord injury rehabilitation from 1997 to 2016.
Data were obtained from the Web of Science Core Collection on October 6, 2017. We conducted a qualitative and quantitative analysis of publication outputs, journals, authors, institutions, countries, cited references, keywords, and terms by bibliometric methods and bibliometric software packages.
We identified 5,607 publications on rehabilitation of spinal cord injury from 1997 to 2016, and found that the annual publication rate increased with time. The Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation published the largest number of literature, the most active country was USA, the most active institution was University of Washington, and Post MWM was the leading author. Keyword analysis indicated that life satisfaction, muscle strength, wheelchair training, walking, gait, and others were the hot spots of these research studies, whereas classification, exoskeleton, plasticity, and old adult were research frontiers.
This bibliometric study revealed that research on rehabilitation of spinal cord injury is a well-developed and promising research field. Global scientific research cooperation is close. However, higher quality research is needed. Our findings provide valuable information for researchers to identify better perspectives and develop the future research direction.