Umbrella Review as an Emerging Approach of Evidence Synthesis in Health Sciences: A Bibliometric Analysis

24 Pages Posted: 13 Mar 2020 Last revised: 30 Mar 2020

See all articles by Md Mahbub Hossain

Md Mahbub Hossain

Texas A&M University - School of Public Health; Nature Study Society of Bangladesh

Date Written: March 9, 2020


Background: In the era of a growing need for evidence-based decision-making in healthcare, umbrella reviews offer one of the highest possible quality of evidence synthesized from existing systematic reviews and meta-analyses. This bibliometric evaluation aimed to inform the development of this newer method within the landscape of evidence-based health sciences.

Methods: In this study, global literature on umbrella review topic published until 2019 were included and analyzed to evaluate the characteristics of published studies including top journals, authors, institutions, and countries alongside an evaluation of how collaborative research has been conducted in this field.

Results: A total of 299 documents from 180 scholarly sources were included, which were authored by 1279 authors with a collaboration index of 4.43. The number of documents markedly increased since 2015. Most prolific journals and authors in the field of umbrella review were identified. Most articles were affiliated with institutions from high-income countries. Moreover, an assessment of the evolution of knowledge areas identified key terms related to review methodologies, prevalence and risk factors of different diseases, prevention of noncommunicable diseases, and health promotion.

Conclusion: This bibliometric study found a rapid development of umbrella reviews in health sciences literature since 2015 in diverse knowledge domains predominantly in epidemiological studies. Future research using the umbrella review method should focus on healthcare interventions. Also, it is essential to strengthening the institutional capacities for evidence synthesis in low and middle-income countries to ensure equitable global collaboration in the development of evidence-based health sciences.

Keywords: Umbrella Review, Systematic Review, Meta-analysis, Evidence-based Medicine, Bibliometric Analysis

Suggested Citation

Hossain, Md Mahbub, Umbrella Review as an Emerging Approach of Evidence Synthesis in Health Sciences: A Bibliometric Analysis (March 9, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Md Mahbub Hossain (Contact Author)

Texas A&M University - School of Public Health ( email )

College Station, TX
United States

Nature Study Society of Bangladesh ( email )

Khulna, 09000

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