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Table 3 Variable definitions

From: Inequalities in medicine use in Central Eastern Europe: an empirical investigation of socioeconomic determinants in eight countries

Variable Survey question Subcategories (as used in the analysis) and reference group
Medicine use During the past two weeks, have you used any medicines (including dietary supplements such as herbal medicines or vitamins) that were prescribed or recommended for you by a doctor? • None; reference group • Non-prescribed • Prescribed • Both
During the past two weeks, have you used any medicines or dietary supplement or herbal medicines or vitamins not prescribed or recommended by a doctor?
Employment status How would you define your current labour status? • Employed (working for pay or profit); reference group • Retired (in retirement or early retirement or has given up business) • Unemployed or disabled (unemployed; permanently disabled)a • In training or at home (pupil, student, further training, unpaid work experience)
Highest education What is the highest education leaving certificate, diploma or education degree you have obtained? Please include any vocation training. • ISCED ≤ 2 (no formal education or below ISCED 1; primary education; lower secondary education); reference group • ISCED 3-4 (upper secondary education; post-secondary but non-tertiary education) • ISCED 5-6 (first stage of tertiary education; second stage of tertiary education)
Income quintile Perhaps you can provide the appropriate range [instead of the household’s total net income per month]. Would you (please look at this card and) tell me which group represents your household’s total net monthly income from all these sources after deductions for income tax, National Insurance etc. Is it … • First quintile; reference group • Second quintile • Third quintile • Fourth and fifth quintile
Age Age of the person at the moment of the interview • 18–29 years • 30–39 • 40–49 • 50–59 • 60–69 • 70+
Gender Sex • Male; reference group • Female
Chronic conditions Do you have any longstanding illness or [longstanding] health problem? [By longstanding, I mean illnesses or health problems which have lasted, or are expected to last, for 6 months or more.] • No; reference group • Yes
Self-assessed health How is your health in general? Is it … • Good (very good, good); reference group • Poor (very bad, bad, fair)
  1. Note: aAs pointed out by an anonymous reviewers, it can be argued that unemployed and permanently disabled people differ in terms of health and medicine use and should thus be analysed separately. However, as both groups individually make for a small proportion of the sample and thus only very few observations would be left for the subgroup analyses (in the most extreme case 0 observations and in the majority of cases, less than 20 observations, which, for Eurostat confidentially reasons would need to be left blank), it was decided to analyse them as one subgroup.
  2. Source: Data provided by Eurostat [80]; presentation by the authors