Ann Med Med Res | Volume 7, Issue 1 | Research Article | Open Access

The Pathfinder Network Analysis of Objectification and Standardization of Diagnostics in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Xu Z*

College of Basic Medicine, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, China

*Correspondance to: Zhaoxia Xu 

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Objective: To perform a comparative quantitative and qualitative analysis of Chinese and non- Chinese literature on Objectification and Standardization of Diagnostics of Traditional Chinese Medicine (OSDTCM) by using systematic research and literature analysis, in order to discern research trends in the area and provide baseline data as a reference for relevant decision making and further study. Method: We retrieved literature in PubMed and CNKI during database building to January 1st, 2023 by using MeSH terms and keywords related to OSDTCM. According to predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria, we constructed a set of charts by applying annual output and word co-occurrence after conducting output data cleaning by Excel. NetDraw function of UCINET 6.0 software was used to establish the topic structure of Pathfinder Networks algorithms. Based on the strength of external co-occurrence links, the relationship network and strategic indicator coordinate map between Chinese and English topics were made. Result: A total of 1,563 Chinese and 545 English publications were included in CNKI and PubMed respectively. The topic structure map of OSDTCM research has been successfully established. A total of 33 countries/regions participated in the English published study. Chinese published the most publications (N=439, 80.55%), followed by the USA (N=61, 11.19%) and Germany (N=29, 5.32%). Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine is the institution that publishes most Chinese and English literature. The modern technology and methodology of TCM diagnoses and syndromes drive the progress of OSDTCM research at home and abroad. Chinese research started earlier than English research, and its research topics were more refined and in-depth, in which tongue diagnosis and pulse diagnosis were the main directions. English literature has already formed its own characteristics and made a significant contribution to the unification of terminology. Studies in Chinese or English have shown that the use of evidence-based medicine can better guide the future research of OSDTCM. Conclusion: In the past 40 years, the number of OSDTCM papers published in both Chinese and English has increased significantly, but the research in English is not as rich as that in Chinese and is still in the early stage of development. In order to narrow the knowledge gap at home and abroad and expand the advantages of TCM, we should speed up the construction of an objective evaluation system of TCM clinical diagnosis and the promotion of advanced modern technology, and pay great attention to the application of evidence-based Chinese medicine in the near future.


Traditional Chinese medicine; Diagnosis; Objectification; Standardization; Cluster analysis


Xu Z. The Pathfinder Network Analysis of Objectification and Standardization of Diagnostics in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Ann Med Medical Res. 2024; 7: 1070.

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