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TGA consumer survey 2018
Amongst the overall sample there is representation across a range of age groups (Table 1; Figure 2). The age distribution of the sample varies markedly across sample types (Table 2). The Panel based sample set quotas across age to achieve a broadly representative spread across 18-34, 35-54 and 55+ groupings. In comparison, the Opt-in sample is heavily skewed toward those 55+ age categories, with just over half of this sub-sample in this grouping. This high level of representation was offset by low representation amongst younger groupings, with those aged 18-34 making up around 10% of the Opt-in sample (Panel sample: 34%).
Table 1: Age - complete sample
|75 or older||80||4.6|
Table 2: Age by sample source (%)
The overall sample includes more females than males (Table 3). This distribution reflects a much higher representation of females in the Opt-in sample (Female: 66%; Male: 33%) in comparison to the quota based Panel sample, where quotas ensured males and females are evenly distributed (Figure 3 and Table 4).
Table 3: Gender - complete sample
|Prefer not to say||9||0.5|
Table 4: Gender by sample source (%)
|Prefer not to say||0.1||1.2|
Participation in the survey is evident across all states and territories and is generally reflective of national population distributions (Table 5). There are minimal differences in terms of location of participants between the Panel and Opt-in samples.
Table 5: State/Territory
Just over one third (36%) of the sample live in locations outside capital cities (Table 6). This includes representation across Regional cities and towns (26%), Rural areas (10%) and a small number of people residing in Remote areas (0.3%). The Opt-in sample includes a higher proportion of people identifying in Regional cities and towns (Opt-in: 31%; Panel: 22%) and Rural areas (Opt-in: 14%; Panel 8%; Figure 4 and Table 7).
Table 6: Regional location – complete sample
Table 7: Regional location by sample source (%)
Role and employment
When asked to highlight their role in the community, just fewer than four in five participants identified against the Consumer grouping (Table 8). Almost three in ten nominated as patients, with around one in ten highlighting roles as carers, consumer representatives/advocates or as having a role in all of the listed categories. The Opt-in sample includes a higher proportion of people who identify in the consumer representative (Opt-in: 19%; Panel: 2%) and patient (Opt-in: 39%; Panel: 21%) categories when compared to the more randomly identified Panel sample. Most respondents (N=1,065) to this question select a single response category.
Table 8: Role in the community
|All of the above||152||8.8|
|Number of selections|
A range of employment categories are represented by participants in the consumer survey (Table 9). Retirees represented the single largest industry category selected, followed by unemployed, retail, government and public administration and education based roles.
Table 9: Employment category
|Government and Public Administration||97||6.3|
|K-12 or Tertiary Education||82||5.4|
|Finance and Insurance||64||4.2|
|IT, Data Processing & Software||62||4.1|
|Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation||46||3.0|
|Hotel and Food Services||37||2.4|
|Scientific or Technical Services||37||2.4|
|Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting||25||1.6|
|Real Estate, Rental and Leasing||14||0.9|
|Computer and Electronics Manufacturing||12||0.8|
|Other Information Industry||29||1.9|
Across the overall sample of consumer participants 62% highlight that they take regular medicines (Table 10). This level varies across samples, with a higher proportion of people in the Opt-in (69%) sample highlighting regular medicines use in comparison to the Panel based sample (58%). Just over one in ten participants highlight use of medical devices, with use of devices slightly higher amongst those in the Opt-in sample (Figure 5 and Table 11). Complementary medicines use is reported by just over half of the sample and is similar across sample sources. Those in the Opt-in sample show a higher propensity to have experienced side effects with a medicine or medical device (Opt-in: 54%; Panel: 24%).
Table 10: Use of medicines, complementary medicines and medical devices
|I take regular medications||1006||62.1|
|I use medical devices||178||11.0|
|I use complementary medicines||836||51.6|
|I have experienced side effects with a medicine or medical device||556||34.3|
|None of the above||206||12.7|
|Prefer not to answer||22||1.4|
Base: All respondents
Table 11: Use of medicines, complementary medicines and medical devices by sample source (%)
|I take regular medications||58.4||69.0|
|I use medical devices||9.7||13.4|
|I use complementary medicines||51.2||52.4|
|I have experienced side effects with a medicine or medical device||23.8||53.5|
|None of the above||14.8||8.9|
|Prefer not to answer||1.1||1.7|
Across the overall sample, regular use of medicines increases with age (Figure 6 and Table 12). Use of complementary medicines is fairly consistent across ages, although a slight decline in use is apparent amongst the oldest grouping. Experience of side effects shows a general increase across age groups (except amongst the oldest age category).
Table 12: Use of medicines, complementary medicines and medical devices by age (%)
|Age||Take regular medications||Use medical devices||Use complementary medicines||Have experienced side effects|
|75 or older||78.8||11.3||40.0||28.8|
Female participants in the survey are more likely to have experienced side effects (Females 39%; Males 23%) and to use complementary medicines (Females 55%; Males 40%; Figure 7 and Table 13). Use of regular medications and medical devices is similar across male and female groups in the survey.
Table 13: Use of medicines, complementary medicines and medical devices by gender (%)
|Gender||Take regular medications||Use medical devices||Use complementary medicines||Have experienced side effects|