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Background and purpose

Establishing Intra-disciplinary and extra-disciplinary relationships are a prerequisite for the growth and expansion of various scientific disciplines, including rehabilitation science. In this study, we have tried to examine the intra-disciplinary and extra-disciplinary relationships of scientific articles in the field of rehabilitation sciences of Iran, indexed in the Web of Science (WOS) database from 2013 to 2017.

Materials and methods

This research was conducted using scientometric techniques, content analysis and citation analysis through a descriptive approach. The statistical population of the research included 392 articles of Iran consisting of original articles and conference articles indexed in the Web of Science, which were published during 2013-2017.


Most of the 392 articles were specialized physiotherapy (53.57%) and then orthotics and prosthetics (27.55%). Out of 12076 references of the articles, 26.9% were located in the extra-disciplinary category and 89.6% in the intra-disciplinary category. 392 articles researched received 1398 citations, with an average citation of 3.75 per article. In all fields except rehabilitation management, the highest number of citations was categorized in the extra-disciplinary category.


The publication trend of the articles was growing. Researchers in the study of sub-disciplines of rehabilitation sciences in Iran have used intra-disciplinary relationships more than extra-disciplinary relationships in compiling articles, while they have received the most citations outside the field of rehabilitation sciences relationships. The results show the appropriate potential of this area to interact with other scientific fields.