Trends in Healthcare Research on Visual Impairment and Blindness: Use of Bibliometrics and Hierarchical Cluster Analysis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose: Individuals with visual impairments and blindness who are marginalized in healthcare systems are located at the intersection of low accessibility for healthcare services and health-related information. To uncover recent trends in vision healthcare research, this study employed a text mining approach to literature analysis. Methods: A total of 506 journal articles published between January 2000 and April 2020 were collected from the Web of Science database. To investigate the main research themes and evolving trends, bibliometric and hierarchical cluster analyses were performed using R software. Results: Although the number of articles per year fluctuated in the past two decades, the findings of this study indicate a growing interest in visual impairment healthcare research. The United States contributed 32.3% to the overall output followed by the United Kingdom (16.7%). The prolific journals were Ophthalmic Epidemiology (4.7%), British Journal of Ophthalmology (4.4%), and JAMA Ophthalmology (3.4%). By using a hierarchical clustering algorithm, the 10 main research topics were estimated. Conclusions: Given the increasing prevalence of visual impairment in an aging society, an understanding of the current knowledge structure in scientific literature is essential for innovating on the existing healthcare system. The results of this study can guide researchers to discover the unexplored research areas and provide new directions for future work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-284
Number of pages8
JournalOphthalmic Epidemiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Bibliometrics
  • blindness
  • cluster analysis
  • healthcare disparities
  • review literature as topic
  • vision disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Ophthalmology


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