OBJECTIVES: We aimed
to identify the gaps in asthma research in the Arab world and suggest
recommendations for untapped areas. Hence we analyzed ten- years PubMed-
indexed publications related to bronchial asthma, produced by authors
affiliated to the Arab countries.
METHODS: A Medline
search was performed on 1st
July 2010 to have the total number of citation from the 22 Arab countries during the ten years
prior to the search. Another search in the MeSH database of the Medline for
citations under “asthma” OR “ bronchial asthma” category was followed. The two
search strategies were then combined by “AND” and inspected for validation. The search was then saved in Medline format
text file, which was converted into Excel file and captured as a new database
query via SPSS software. The methodology of capturing research of the Arab
countries and converting a Medline search to an SPSS data file was discussed in
more details in previously published research by the first author. 1,2
RESULTS: The number
of asthma related publications affiliated to the Arab countries over the last 10
years totaled 275 articles. The number of research was doubled in 2010 relative
to 2000. However, only three countries-
namely KSA, Egypt and Kuwait- published 63% of the total publications. The three major areas studied were the
epidemiological issues of asthma, its management, and its immunological issue (32%,
18.55%, and 18.05% respectively of total publications). Health system research
constituted only 11.27% of publications. Areas as asthma in primary care and
gender differences in morbidity and response to treatment are relatively
neglected. The majority of publications were journal articles (82.9%), whereas clinical
trial articles and evaluation studies constituted only 1.1 % and 3.6 %
respectively. The Saudi Med J followed
by J Asthma and Ann Thorac Med came on
top of the list of 131 journals that published asthma research (12 %, 5.09% and 4.37% respectively).
the increase in asthma publications, the outcome of some Arab countries was not
satisfactory. Areas as health system research, asthma in primary care, and
gender differences should have more consideration from Arab researchers.
1: Osman OT, Afifi M. Troubled
minds in the Gulf: mental health research in the
United Arab Emirates (1989-2008).
Asia Pac J Public Health. 2010 Jul;22(3
2: Afifi MM. Mental health
publications from the Arab world cited in PubMed,
1987-2002. East Mediterr Health J.