Health-Related Quality of Life among Nonprescription Medicine Customers in Malaysia

Value Health Reg Issues. 2013 May;2(1):107-117. doi: 10.1016/j.vhri.2013.02.005. Epub 2013 Mar 26.


Objective: To describe the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among nonprescription medicine customers in Malaysia and the factors that affect it.

Methods: A nationwide cross-sectional survey was conducted among pharmacy customers in 59 randomly selected community pharmacies in Malaysia. The self-administered questionnaire included the EuroQoL five-dimensional (EQ-5D) questionnaire, the EuroQol visual analogue scale (EQ-VAS), nonprescription medicines purchase, and demographic questions. Data were analyzed by using the multivariate analysis of variance and multiple logistic regressions.

Results: A total of 2729 customers enrolled in this study, with a mean EQ-5D questionnaire score of 0.92±0.15 and a mean EQ-VAS score of 69.92±24.80. Compared with the Malaysian adult population, nonprescription medicine customers have a lower mean EQ-5D questionnaire score (t =-4.49, P<0.01) and EQ-VAS score (t =-25.87, P<0.01). We found that pain/discomfort (25.6%) and anxiety/depression (13.7%) were the major HRQOL problems. Locality, age, ethnicity, household income per month, type of occupation, and type of nonprescription medicine purchased were associated with health status of nonprescription medicine customers (F22,5286 = 2.555; Wilks' lambda = 0.979; P< 0.01).

Conclusions: The HRQOL of nonprescription medicine customers is lower than that of the general Malaysian population. Lower health status was independently associated with older age, living in rural areas, having low income and education level, and purchasing blood and blood-forming medicines from community pharmacy.

Keywords: EQ-5D; Malaysia; health-related quality of life; nonprescription medicine.