Background: Integrative health care (IHC) has become a popular term used in practice and research to define the blending of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and conventional care as an innovative approach to health care delivery.
Purpose and objectives: To conduct a bibliometric analysis to develop a better understanding of the evolution of the concept of IHC in the CAM field.
Methods: All articles on IHC published between 1915 and 2008 indexed in the ISI web of knowledge database were retrieved. Title and abstract review were conducted to determine eligibility. Inclusion criteria included a research report and integration of CAM and conventional therapies. A second review of the full papers will be conducted to determine the final article sample, which will be analyzed using a rigorous bibliometric analysis approach.
Results: Three thousand and five articles were retrieved and 35% met the inclusion criteria in the first screening round. Descriptive and relational bibliometric indicators will be presented, including the volume of research by year, keywords used, impact of the publication and collaboration amongst researchers.
Discussion and conclusion: Application of a bibliometric analysis allows for a broad and focused overview of the IHC literature within its historical and cultural context, and evaluation of the research output and its impact.