Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 58, Issue 1, pp 1–13 | Cite as

The Evolution of Spirituality, Religion and Health Publications: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

  • Emre DemirEmail author
Original Paper


This research aims to present a bibliometric analysis of the published documents on spirituality, religion and health. Despite the increasing number of publications spirituality, religion and health research in recent years, there is still little information about the effects of these publications in the literature. “Religion,” “spirituality,” “spiritual,” “health” and “medicine” keywords were used to search the Web of Science (WoS) database. Bibliometric analysis was conducted on the articles published between 1975 and 2017. The analysis was presented with network and density maps. The analysis also included the regression analysis to predict a number of publications in 2018. A total number of 1674 publications were found: 818 of these publications were articles. Of the 818 articles, 210 were religion, 198 were Public Environmental Occupational Health, 139 were Psychology, and 77 were performed in the field of Psychiatry. The most productive journal with 107 articles and 1129 citations was the Journal of Religion and Health. The USA (495; 60.5%) was the most productive country on spirituality, religion and health publications. The author who had the highest number of publications and citations was Koenig HG (33 publications; 4.03% and 1617 citations), the document who had the highest number of citations was Ellison CG and Levin JS (633 citations), and the author who had the highest number of citations in the references was Koenig HG, 2001, (126 citations). Duke Univ was the top institution in the number of publication (50 Article). This study will lead the researchers especially in terms of the important journals, active countries, authors, top-cited articles and current topics in spirituality, religion and health research.


Spirituality Religion Health Medicine Bibliometrics 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.


  1. Clarke, A., Gatineau, M., Grimaud, O., et al. (2007). A bibliometric overview of public health research in Europe. European Journal of Public Health, 17, 43–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Damiano, R. F., Costa, L. A., Viana, M. T. S. A., Moreira-Almeida, A., Lucchetti,. Alessandra L. G., & Lucchetti, G. (2016). Brazilian scientific articles on “Spirituality, Religion and Health”. Archives of Clinical Psychiatry (São Paulo), 43(1), 11–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ellison, C. G., & Levin, J. S. (1998). The religion-health connection: Evidence, theory, and future directions. Health Education & Behavior, 25, 700–720.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Garfield, E. (1987). 100 Citation classics from the Journal of the American Medical Association. JAMA, 257, 52–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Hill, P. C., & Pargament, K. I. (2003). Advances in the conceptualization and measurement of religion and spirituality: Implications for physical and mental health research. American Psychologist, 58(1), 64–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Koenig, H. G., McCullough, M. E., & Larson, D. B. (2001). Handbook of religion and health. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Lucchetti, G., & Lucchetti, A. L. (2014). Spirituality, religion, and health: over the last 15 years of field research (1999–2013). The International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, 48(3), 199–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Muslu, Ü. (2018). The evolution of breast reduction publications: A bibliometric analysis. Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 42(3), 679–691.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ozsoy, Z., & Demir, E. (2017). The evolution of bariatric surgery publications and global productivity: A bibliometric analysis. Obesity Surgery, 28(4), 1117–1129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ozsoy, Z., & Demir, E. (2018). Which bariatric procedure is the most popular in the world? A Bibliometric Comparison, OBES SURG, 28(8), 2339–2352.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Pargament, K. I. (1997). The psychology of religion and coping: Theory, research, practice. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  12. Powell, L. H., Shahabi, L., & Thoresen, C. E. (2003). Religion and spirituality: Linkages to physical health. American Psychologist, 58(1), 36–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Şenel, E., & Demir, E. (2018). Bibliometric and scientometric analysis of the articles published in the Journal of Religion and Health Between 1975 and 2016. Journal of Religion and Health, 57(4), 1473–1482.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Senel, E., Demir, E., & Alkan, R. M. (2016). Bibliometric analysis on global Behcet disease publications during 1980–2014: Is there a Silk Road in the literature? Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, 31, 518–522.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Sloan, R. P., Bagiella, E., & Powell, T. (1999). Religion, spirituality, and medicine. Lancet, 353, 664–667.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Underwood, L. G., & Teresi, J. A. (2002). The Daily Spiritual Experience Scale: Development, theoretical description, reliability, exploratory factor analysis, and preliminary construct validity using health-related data. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 24(1), 22–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Van Eck, N. J., & Waltman, L. (2010). Software survey: VOSviewer, a computer program for bibliometric mapping. Scientometrics, 84(2), 523–538.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Van Raan, A. F. J. (2003). The use of bibliometric analysis in research performance assessment and monitoring of interdisciplinary scientific developments. Technikfolgenabschätzung, Theorie und Praxis, 1, 20–29.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biostatistics, Faculty of MedicineHitit UniversityÇorumTurkey

Personalised recommendations