Understanding the Ghanaian Neurosurgical Literature: A Scoping Review and Bibliometric Analysis.

Journal Article (Review;Journal Article)


Research serves to bolster clinical neurosurgery by critically assessing various disease pathologies, while identifying important challenges and opportunities. However, there is limited information on the landscape of the Ghanaian neurosurgical literature.


A scoping review and bibliometric analysis was conducted in accordance with PRISMA guidelines. PubMed, Embase, Global Index Medicus, and Web of Science electronic databases were searched from inception until December 21, 2021 for English language articles about neurosurgery in Ghana.


927 articles were identified and 66 were ultimately included in the analysis. A majority of them, 42.4%, were retrospective cohort studies, with 62.1% published after 2010. There were no randomized controlled or basic science studies. Most articles were published in the West African Journal of Medicine (24.2%) and non-infectious/non-traumatic spinal pathology was the most commonly discussed topic (22.7%); 66.7% of articles included only authors affiliated with Ghanaian institutions, and international collaborators frequently originated from the United States (15.9%). Only 22.7% of the manuscripts reported a funding source. Commonly reported challenges included limited sample sizes, delays in diagnosis and treatment, and lack of proper diagnostic tools and specialized care.


This review revealed that while the Ghanaian academic neurosurgery output has been increasing over time, these have been limited to cohort studies largely assessing spine pathology. The Ghanaian neurosurgical research environment may be bolstered by an increase in research funding, the establishment of longitudinal clinical databases, training in research methodology, increased incentives for researchers, strengthening of research collaborative networks, and increased engagement of neurosurgical trainees in research.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Abu-Bonsrah, N; Dada, OE; Haizel-Cobbina, J; Ukachukwu, A; Spann, M; Adu, KO; Banson, M; Bandoh, D; Sarpong, K; Dadey, D; Ametefe, M; Kanmounye, US; Totimeh, T; Groves, ML

Published Date

  • January 2023

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 169 /

Start / End Page

  • 12 - 19

PubMed ID

  • 36265747

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1878-8769

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1878-8750

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.wneu.2022.10.044


  • eng