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TGA consumer survey 2018

20 December 2018

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Demographics

Age

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

Please provide the following details about yourself. Your age:
Age N %
18-24 94 5.4
25-34 326 18.9
35-44 289 16.7
45-54 331 19.2
55-64 331 19.2
65-74 276 16.0
75 or older 80 4.6
Total 1727 100
18-34 420 24.3
35-54 620 35.9
55+ 687 39.8
Figure 2: Age by sample source (%)
Doughnut chart of Table 2 (age by source)

Table 2: Age by sample source (%)

Your age: (%)
Age Panel Opt in
18-34 33.6 10.1
35-54 33.5 39.6
55+ 32.9 50.3

Gender

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

Your gender:
Gender N %
Female 968 56.0
Male 749 43.3
Indeterminate/Intersex/Unspecified 3 0.2
Prefer not to say 9 0.5
Total 1729 100
Figure 3: Gender by sample source (%)
Doughnut chart of Table 4 data (gender by source)

Table 4: Gender by sample source (%)

Your gender: (%)
Gender Panel Opt-in
Female 49.6 65.8
Male 50.2 32.7
Indeterminate/Intersex/Unspecified 0.1 0.3
Prefer not to say 0.1 1.2

Location

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

State/territory where you live:
Location N %
NSW 535 31.0
VIC 458 26.5
QLD 346 20.0
WA 171 9.9
SA 131 7.6
TAS 42 2.4
NT 5 0.3
ACT 40 2.3
Total 1728 100

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

Area you live in:
Region N %
Capital city 1106 64.0
Regional city/town 441 25.5
Regional/Rural area 176 10.2
Remote area 5 0.3
Total 1728 100
Capital city 1106 64.0
Ex-capital city 622 36.0
Figure 4: Location by sample source (%)
Doughnut chart of Table 7 data (location by source)

Table 7: Regional location by sample source (%)

Area where you live (%)
Region Panel Opt in
Capital city 69.9 55.1
Regional city/town 22.3 30.5
Regional/Rural/Remote 7.8 14.5

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

Which categories describe your role in the community:
Category N %
Consumer 1380 79.9
Carer 173 10.0
Consumer rep/advocate 153 8.9
Patient 491 28.4
All of the above 152 8.8
Selections 2349
Total 1726
Number of selections
1 1065
2 397
3 110
4 154
Total 1726

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

Which of the following categories best describes the industry you primarily work in (regardless of your actual position)?
Category N %
Retired 390 25.5
Unemployed 202 13.2
Retail 110 7.2
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
Construction 52 3.4
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation 46 3.0
Hotel and Food Services 37 2.4
Scientific or Technical Services 37 2.4
Wholesale 27 1.8
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting 25 1.6
Legal Services 23 1.5
Mining 17 1.1
Real Estate, Rental and Leasing 14 0.9
Computer and Electronics Manufacturing 12 0.8
Telecommunications 12 0.8
Utilities 10 0.7
Publishing 8 0.5
Military 2 0.1
Other Industry 136 8.9
Other Information Industry 29 1.9
Other Manufacturing 36 2.4
Total 1530 100

Medicines use

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

Please select the categories that apply to you:
Category N %
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

Figure 5: Use of medicines by sample source (%)
Bar chart of Table 11 data

Table 11: Use of medicines, complementary medicines and medical devices by sample source (%)

Please select the categories that apply to you:
Category Panel Opt-in
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).

Figure 6: Use of medicines, complementary medicines and medical devices by age (%)
Line chart of Table 12 data

Table 12: Use of medicines, complementary medicines and medical devices by age (%)

Please select the categories that apply to you:
Age Take regular medications Use medical devices Use complementary medicines Have experienced side effects
18-24 38.3 8.5 47.9 17.0
25-34 47.9 9.8 47.2 23.9
35-44 53.3 11.1 47.1 32.5
45-54 58.0 7.9 51.7 36.3
55-64 63.1 8.2 49.8 35.0
65-74 70.7 15.9 47.8 39.1
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.

Figure 7: Use of medicines, complementary medicines and medical devices by gender (%)
Column chart of Table 13 data

Table 13: Use of medicines, complementary medicines and medical devices by gender (%)

Please select the categories that apply to you:
Gender Take regular medications Use medical devices Use complementary medicines Have experienced side effects
Female 59.0 8.4 54.6 39.2
Male 56.9 12.4 40.1 22.6

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