Disparities in the contribution of low and middle-income countries to palliative care research

Pastrana, T., Vallath, N., Mastrojohn, J., Namukwaya, E., Kumar, S., Radbruch, L. and Clark, D. (2010) Disparities in the contribution of low and middle-income countries to palliative care research. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 39(1), pp. 54-68. (doi:10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2009.05.023)

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Abstract

Context.

Important aspects of the palliative care needs of patients from low and middle-income countries (LMIC) are largely unexplored. About 44 million of the 56 million annual deaths worldwide occur in developing countries, and it is estimated that more than 33 million of those concerned would benefit from palliative care. In this context, the understanding of specific social and cultural needs is fundamental to the development of appropriate health policy and clinical practice concerning palliative and end-of-life care.

Objectives.

This study aims to answer the question: what are the contributions, in terms of generation of knowledge, of LMIC to the published palliative care literature?

Methods. A bibliometric analysis was conducted in Medline and EMBASE (to June 2008). Articles were included when either the first author (institutional affiliation or contact address) or the data collection was derived from LMIC, as defined by criteria of the World Bank. Excluded were articles done in migrant and non-palliative care populations.

Results.

The literature search resulted in 845 references. In total, 245 articles coming from LMIC were identified, being published by 34 LMIC (27.3% of LMIC). The first publications appeared in 1982. The study shows a rather modest contribution of publications from LMIC. However, the volume of publications within LMIC is distributed unequally: upper-middle-income countries published almost half of the articles (46.9%), whereas only 11% of the publications came from low-income countries. In contrast, 104 LMIC (72.7% of LMIC) do not have any registered publications. Surprisingly, 25% of the articles with data from LMIC have been done and published by highincome countries. Reasons for the underrepresentation, as well a possible correction of this imbalance, are discussed.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Clark, Professor David
Authors: Pastrana, T., Vallath, N., Mastrojohn, J., Namukwaya, E., Kumar, S., Radbruch, L., and Clark, D.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Interdisciplinary Studies
Journal Name:Journal of Pain and Symptom Management
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0885-3924
Published Online:04 November 2009

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