The main goal of this study is to discover the scientific evolution of Cancer-Related Symptoms in Complementary and Alternative Medicine research area, analyzing the articles indexed in the Web of Science database from 1980 to 2013.
A co-word science mapping analysis is performed under a longitudinal framework (1980 to 2013). The documental corpus is divided into two subperiods, 1980–2008 and 2009–2013. Thus, the performance and impact rates, and conceptual evolution of the research field are shown.
According to the results, the co-word analysis allows us to identify 12 main thematic areas in this emerging research field: anxiety, survivors and palliative care, meditation, treatment, symptoms and cancer types, postmenopause, cancer pain, low back pain, herbal medicine, children, depression and insomnia, inflammation mediators, and lymphedema. The different research lines are identified according to the main thematic areas, centered fundamentally on anxiety and suffering prevention. The scientific community can use this information to identify where the interest is focused and make decisions in different ways.
Several limitations can be addressed: 1) some of the Complementary and Alternative Medicine therapies may not have been included; 2) only the documents indexed in Web of Science are analyzed; and 3) the thematic areas detected could change if another dataset was considered.
The results obtained in the present study could be considered as an evidence-based framework in which future studies could be built.
Currently, there are no studies that show the thematic evolution of this research area.