Acupuncture therapy has a wide range of applications in obstetrics and gynecology, especially for patients with reproductive issues, irregular menstruation, dysmenorrhea, and pelvic inflammatory disease. In recent decades, acupuncture therapy has gradually attracted the attention of professionals in China and overseas due to its beneficial effects, and has been the focus of many studies. This study aimed to conduct a statistical analysis of the relevant literature to understand the current application and research status of acupuncture in obstetric and gynecologic diseases.
A search of the SCI-EXPANDED database in the Web of Science Core Collection (WOSCC) was performed. Search strategy included two formulas: #1 WC=Obstetrics & Gynecology, limited: index =SCI-EXPANDED time span=all years; #2 subject: (ACUPUNCTURE-MOXIBUSTION) OR subject: (ACUPUNCTURE) OR subject: (MOXIBUSTION), limited: index=SCI-EXPANDED time span=all years. The final result was acquired by searching #1 AND #2. CiteSpace software was used to analyze and visualize the annual distribution of articles, and the distributions of disciplines, countries/institutions, journals, and authors. Keywords were used to infer the application of acupuncture in obstetrics and gynecology.
A total of 593 research literatures, including 323 original articles, were retrieved. Since 1972, the number of literatures has shown a general increase. Studies on reproductive medicine accounted for the highest proportion of the retrieved literatures (139, 23.44%). The United States (25.5%), China (14.0%), Germany (7.6%), Australia (7.3%), and Sweden (7.1%) were the main contributors. The centrality index showed that the United States (0.19), the United Kingdom (0.19), and Germany (0.16) had the closest cooperation. The retrieved literatures covered 15 subdivision areas, including menstruation, embryo transfer, production, and pelvic pain. Obstetrics & Gynecology, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology were found to be the most influential journals. The most frequently cited keywords were acupuncture (intensity =5.5326), low back pain (intensity =5.0506), and pregnancy (intensity =4.7016).
Acupuncture is receiving an increasing amount of attention in obstetrics and gynecology, and international cooperation in research in this field is also increasing.