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Daru. 2012 Nov 20;20(1):78. doi: 10.1186/2008-2231-20-78.

Somatic complaints and refrain from buying prescribed medications. Results from a cross-sectional study on people 60 years and older living in Kaunas (Lithuania).

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  • 1Department of Pharmaceutical Technology and Social Pharmacy, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, A, Mickeviciaus 9, Kaunas LT 44307, Lithuania.



The use of medicines by elderly people is a growing area of concern in social pharmacy. A significant proportion of older people do not follow the recommendations from physicians and refrain from buying prescribed medications. The aim of this study is to evaluate associations between self-rated health, somatic complaints and refraining from buying prescribed medications by elderly people.


Data was collected in a cross-sectional study in 2009. We received 624 completed questionnaires (response rate - 48.9%) from persons aged 60-84 years living in Kaunas (Lithuania). Somatic complaints were measured with the 24 item version of the Giessen Complaint List (GBB-24). Logistic regression (Enter model) was used for evaluation of the associations between refraining from buying medications and somatic complaints. These associations were measured using odds ratio (OR) and calculating the 95% confidence interval (CI).The mean scores in total for the GBB scale and sub-scales (exhaustion, gastrointestinal and cardiovascular) were lowest among respondents who did not refrain from buying prescribed medications (means for GBB-24 scale: 21.04 vs. 24.82; p=0.001). Logistic regression suggests that somatic complaints were associated with a increased risk of refraining from buying prescribed medications (OR=1.35, 95% CI=1.15-1.60).


Somatic complaints were significantly associated with the decision to refrain from buying prescribed medications.

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