What patterns exist in international collaboration in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery (FPRS) research?
In this systematic bibliometric scoping review including 286 studies, 49.5% of global health–focused FPRS articles included authors from the low- or middle-income country (LMIC) being studied.
There is an opportunity for researchers investigating FPRS needs in LMICs to include voices and perspectives from individuals living in the country being studied.
Research in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery (FPRS) in the global health setting, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), is increasing year by year. As this work progresses, it will be crucial to include voices and perspectives of individuals living in the LMICs being studied.
To characterize and understand international collaborations in published literature on FPRS care in a global health setting and report patterns in whether these articles included authors from the LMICs in which the studies took place.
A systematic bibliometric scoping review of articles in Scopus from 1971 to 2022 was performed using a set list of search terms; studies were included using predetermined inclusion and exclusion criteria. Studies met criteria for inclusion if the abstract or text contained information regarding surgeons from a different country performing surgery or conducting research in an LMIC within the domain of FPRS. Exclusion criteria were studies that did not mention a facial plastic or reconstructive surgery and studies where both an HIC and LMIC were not mentioned.
A total of 286 studies met criteria for inclusion. The highest percentage of studies (n = 72, 25.2%) were conducted across multiple countries. A total of 120 studies (41.9%) discussed cleft lip/palate. Overall, 141 studies (49.5%) included at least 1 author from the host LMIC; 89 (31.1%) had first authors from LMICs, and 72 (25.2%) had senior authors from LMICs. A total of 79 studies (27.6%) described humanitarian clinical service trips without mentioning research or education in the text. The remaining studies described research, education projects, or a combination. The published literature on humanitarian service trips had the lowest rate of inclusion of a first or senior author from the host LMICs.
Conclusions and Relevance
In this systematic bibliometric scoping review, findings showed a general trend of increased international work in the field of FPRS. However, there continues to be a paucity of inclusive authorship trends, with the majority of studies not including first or senior authors from LMICs. The findings presented here encourage new collaborations worldwide, as well as the improvement of existing efforts.
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CME Disclosure Statement: Unless noted, all individuals in control of content reported no relevant financial relationships. If applicable, all relevant financial relationships have been mitigated.
Accepted for Publication: February 26, 2023.
Published Online: April 27, 2023. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2023.0372
Corresponding Author: Gaelen Stanford-Moore, MD, MPhil, Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, 2233 Post St, 3rd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94115 (email@example.com).
Author Contributions: Dr Stanford-Moore and Ms Canick had full access to all of the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. Dr Stanford-Moore and Ms Canick contributed equally to this work as primary authors.
Concept and design: Stanford-Moore, Kaplan, Lee.
Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: All authors.
Drafting of the manuscript: All authors.
Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: Stanford-Moore, Canick, Lee.
Statistical analysis: Stanford-Moore, Canick.
Administrative, technical, or material support: Kaplan.
Supervision: Stanford-Moore, Lee.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.
Data Sharing Statement: See Supplement 2.
Credit Designation Statement: The American Medical Association designates this Journal-based CME activity activity for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
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