Publications of Original Research by German Family Medicine Departments between 2000 and 2010
DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2012.0345-0354german translation / full article
Introduction: In the last decades the academic institutionalisation of family medicine in Germany has made considerable progress. In this review we aim to provide an overview of publications reporting original data and systematic reviews from German academic family medicine institutions published between 2000 and 2010.
Methods: Publications were identified by searching the database Scopus and screening publication lists of family medicine departments, divisions or institutes. To be included papers had to report original primary research studies or systematic reviews. Bibliometric, design and content characteristics of included studies were extracted and analyzed in a systematic manner.
Results: A total of 794 publications reporting 722 primary research studies and 72 systematic reviews were included. The number of published articles increased from 22 in the year 2000 to 170 in 2010. Almost half of all articles (49.0 %) reported cross-sectional studies, 11.3 % cohort studies, 9.8 % qualitative studies and 7.6 % randomized trials. Compared to publications whose first author was not affiliated with a family medicine department, articles with a first author from family medicine reported more often health services research studies, more often qualitative studies, were less often published in English language and, on average, were published in journals with lower impact factors. Eight departments published more than 50 primary research articles or systematic reviews.
Conclusion: The research output of the German academic family medicine departments was eight times higher in 2010 than in 2000 and both of the following years. Further funding programs focusing on family medicine would be necessary to narrow the gap to the UK or the Netherlands in which primary care research is a priority and which produce a much larger research output.