DOI: 10.52965/001c.90615 ISSN: 2420-8124

Access to Healthcare in Rural Communities: A Bibliometric Analysis

Ariya Natarajan, Murdoc Gould, Anjali Daniel, Rohan Mangal, Latha Ganti


Access to healthcare is defined by being able to receive regular checkups, specialist appointments, immunizations, procedures, and surgeries within a reasonable timeframe and without restrictive barriers.


The Web of Science database was used to collect 4,745 articles published relating to the keywords “rural”, “access”, and “healthcare”. These articles then underwent bibliometric cataloging by country, journal, and keyword using VOSviewer 1.6.19.


Between the years 2015 and 2022, the United States emerged as the predominant publisher in the field. From 2015 to 2019, the United States accounted for 47 percent of the total articles published. However, in the subsequent years of 2020 to 2022, there was a slight decline of 3 percent in the volume of U.S. publications. Australia secured the second position in terms of publications within the aforementioned timeframe of 2015 to 2022. England had the third most publications during the time between 2015 to 2022. The prevalence of articles containing the keyword “disparity” ranged between 7 percent and 12 percent throughout this period. Plus One exhibited prominence by contributing 5.025381 percent of all publications pertaining to access to rural medicine during the years 2015 to 2019 thereby establishing itself as the leading publisher in this domain. However, in 2020, the International Journal of Environment suppressed Plus One by publishing the highest number of articles related to rural healthcare. Subsequently, the BMC Health Services Research claimed the leading position in the years 2021 to 2022.


An exploration of who is contributing to the discussion of access to healthcare in rural communities shows that the field and number of publications is growing, and that a focus on disparities is emerging, creating an environment surrounding rural health focused on researching equitable care.

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