Bibliometric Analysis of Interventional Literature on Mobile Health: The Most Highly Cited Articles

Arefeh Ameri, Farzad Salmanizadeh, Kambiz Bahaadinbeigy



Introduction: Advances in mobile health have led to numerous relevant studies in diagnosis, treatment, and controlling of various diseases. One of the criteria indicating the quality of the previously published studies is the number of citations. Therefore, investigating the features of highly cited articles and identifying the most frequently used mobile technological interventions can affect future research ideas. This study aimed at identifying 100 highly cited interventional studies on mobile health, type of used mobile technologies, and effect of these technologies in various diseases in top-cited articles.

Methods: The database employed in this study was the Web of Science, which without limitations was analysed in April 2020 to identify 100 highly cited interventional studies in the field of mobile health. The identified studies were classified based on the number of citations, year of publication, country of the first author, type of disease, and use of mobile technology.

Results: A great majority of the studies in the field of interventional mobile health focused on obesity (n=18), addiction (n=15), diabetes (n=13) and mental health disorders (n=12), respectively. Many studies employed mobile technologies to promote lifestyle (weight loss and increased physical activity) (n=20), disease controls (n=20), and treatment adherence (n=18). The mean number of citations per study was 146±97. The most cited study was in the category of viral disease treatment adherence (n=703), and the most cited articles were published in 2012.

Conclusions: Among the reviewed 100 studies, many of the interventional studies regarding mobile health focused on obesity, addiction, diabetes and mental health disorders. Promotion of lifestyle, disease controls, and treatment adherence were effects of mobile technologies in top-cited articles. Text messaging service was used as intervention in most of the studies. Thus, future studies may focus on the use of various mobile applications on different diseases’ prevention, control, and treatment.


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