Is there the gap in public health literature in Europe?
More details
Hide details
Department of Health Promotion and Postgraduate Education, National Institute of Public Health – National Institute of Hygiene, Warsaw, Poland
Department of Epidemiology and Health Promotion, Medical Centre of Postgraduate Education, Warsaw, Poland
Department – Centre for Monitoring and Analyses of Population Health, National Institute of Public Health – National Institute of Hygiene, Warsaw, Poland
Department of Information Science, Institute of Public Health, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Kraków, Poland
Department of Informatics and Health Statistics, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
Faculty of Pedagogy and Psychology, University of Economics and Innovation, Lublin, Poland
Małgorzata Gajewska   

Department of Health Promotion and Postgraduate Education, National Institute of Public Health – National Institute of Hygiene, Warsaw, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2013;20(3):631–636
Introduction and objective:
The growing expectations for the effectiveness of public health increase the demand for scientific literature, concerning research, reviews and other forms of information. The bibliographic databases are of crucial importance for researchers and policy makers. The objective of this study is to estimate the supply of scientific literature related to public health in selected European countries, which are available to a wide range of users.

Material and Methods:
Analysis of the number of bibliographic records on topics related to public health was based on searches in Ovid MEDLINE ( R) in May and June 2011. According to MeSH terms, 11 keywords and names of 13 European countries were used in the search. Publications from the years 2001–2010 were analyzed. A number of publications indexed under ‘public health’, and related to selected countries were compared with the size of the population of those countries, GDP, total expenditure on health and burden of disease (DALYS’s).

The most popular topic was ‘health policy’, whereas the topics ‘occupational health’ and ‘environmental health’ were less prevalent. There were no significant changes in the number of publications in 2001–2010. The number of articles indexed under ‘public health’ had significant positive correlation with national GDP, expenditure on health and population size, and negative with DALY’s.

According to the criteria accepted in this study, the Nordic countries – Finland, Sweden and Norway – were very productive in this respect. Poland and other Central European Countries were less productive.

WHO Regional Committee for Europe. Draft report of the sixtieth session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe. Sixtieth session. Moscow, 13–16 September 2010. (access: 2012.11.14).
WHO Regional Committee for Europe. Resolution EUR/RC60/R5. Addressing key public health and health policy challenges in Europe: moving forwards in the quest for better health in the WHO European Region. Moscow, 13–16 September 2010. (access: 2012.11.14).
Boyle P. Improving health in Central and Eastern Europe. Ann Agric Environ Med. 2011; 18(2): 281–282.
Law R, King L, Hardy LL, et al. Utilization of a population health survey in policy and practice: a case study. Health Res Policy Syst. 2013; 11: 4. DOI:10.1186/1478–4505–11–4.
Sutherland WJ, Bellingan L, Bellingham JR, et al. A collaboratively-derived science-policy research agenda. PLoS One. 2012; 7(3): e31824. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0031824.
LaRocca R, Yost J, Dobbins M, et al. The effectiveness of knowledge translation strategies used in public health: a systematic review. BMC Public Health. 2012; 12: 751. DOI:10.1186/1471–2458–12–751.
McCarthy M, Clarke A. European public health research literatures – measuring Progress. Eur J Public Health. 2007; 17(Suppl 1): 1–4.
Clarke A, Gatineau M, Grimaud O, et al. A bibliometric overview of public health research in Europe. Eur J Public Health. 2007; 17(Suppl 1): 43–9.
Soteriades ES, Falagas ME. A bibliometric analysis in the fields of preventive medicine, occupational and environmental medicine, epidemiology, and public health. BMC Public Health. Epub ahead of print 15 December 2006. DOI:10.1186/1471–2458–6–301.
Przyłuska J. International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health in world documentation services: the SCOPUS- based analysis of citation. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2006; 19(1): 1–5.
McCarthy M. Public health research in Europe: SPHERE and the Nordic countries. Scan J Public Health. 2008; 36(3): 225–227.
Kållestål C, Swanberg I. Part 2: An inventory of Swedish public health research. Scan J Public Health. 2005; 33(Suppl 65): 17–45.
Gulis G, Eriksen ML, Aro AR. Public health research in Denmark in the years 1995–2005. Scan J Public Health. 2010; 38(1): 104–107.
U.S. National Library of Medicine. National Institutes of Health. Number of Titles Currently Indexed for Index Medicus® and MEDLINE® on PubMed®. (access: 2012.10.19).
Koppel A, Leventhal A, Sedgley M. Public health in Estonia 2008. An analysis of public health operations, services and activities. WHO Regional Office for Europe, Copenhagen 2009: 4–5.
World Health Organization. Age standardized disability-adjusted life year (DALY) rates, by country, 2004. (access: 2012.10.19).
The World Bank. Data. (access: 2012.10.19).
Kamper-Jørgensen F. Commentary on SPHERE (Strengthening Public Health Research in Europe) literature reviews. Eur J Public Health. 2007; 17 (Suppl 1): 6–7.
Dab W. Commentary on SPHERE (Strengthening Public Health Research in Europe) literature reviews. Eur J Public Health. 2007; 17 (Suppl 1): 8–9.
Tarkowski SM. Environmental health research in Europe – bibliometric analysis. Eur J Public Health. 2007; 17 (Suppl 1): 14–18.
Clarke A, Gatineau M, Thorogood M, et al. Health promotion research literature in Europe 1995–2005. Eur J Public Health. 2007: 17(Suppl 1): 24–28.
Loria A, Arroyo P. Language and country preponderance trends in MEDLINE and its causes. J Med Libr Assoc. 2005; 93(3): 381–385.
Baussano I, Brzoska P, Fedeli U, et al. Does language matter? A case study of epidemiological and public health journals, databases and professional education in French, German and Italian. Emerging Themes Epidemiol. 2008; 5: 16. Pub ahead of print 30 September 2008. DOI: 10.1186/1742–7622–5–16.
Adam T, Ahmad S, Bigdeli M, et al. Trends in health policy and systems research over the past decade: still too little capacity in low-income countries. PLoS One. 2011; 6(11): e27263. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0027263.
Almerie, MQ, El-Din Matar H, Jones V, et al. Searching the Polish Medical Bibliography (Polska Bibliografia Lekarska) for trials. Health Info Libr J. 2007;24(4): 283–286.
Lown B, Banerjee A. The developing world in The New England Journal of Medicine. Global Health 2006; 2: 3. Epub ahead of print 16 March 2006: DOI:10.1186/1744–8603–2–3.
Horton R. Medical journals: evidence of bias against the diseases of poverty. The Lancet 2003; 361(9359): 712–713.
Langer A, Díaz-Olavarrieta C, Berdichevsky K, et al. Why is research from developing countries underrepresented in international health literature, and what can be done about it? Bull World Health Organ. 2004; 82(10): 802–803.
Wojtyła A. Differences in health – a global problem and its various aspects. Ann Agric Environ Med. 2011; 18(2): 191–192.
Zatoński W, the HEM project team. Epidemiological analysis of health situation development in Europe and its causes until 1990. Ann Agric Environ Med. 2011; 18(2): 194–202.