Surge in consultations for oncology & mental health among Indian women in 2022: Practo Insights

Women under 35 seeking majority mental health consultations

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New Delhi: Based on data collected from 78,000 women users, Indian women displayed a proactive attitude towards healthcare, as evidenced by a 23% rise* in consultations compared to the previous year. The fastest-growing specialties were oncology and mental health, with a YoY** increase of 96% and 66%, respectively. Notably, a majority of mental health consultations, particularly for psychotherapy, psychiatry, and psychology, were sought by younger women.
Mental Health
Women under 35 consulting the most on mental health
Age-wise break-up of mental health consultations by women in 2022
(Age groups of 54+ contribute to 3% of the consultations)
More younger women (under 25) are seeking mental health support
  • 18 – 24 witnessing 59% growth in consultations YoY; followed by
  • 25 – 34 witnessing 38% growth
  • 35 – 44 witnessing 23% growth
  • And 45 – 64 witnessing 15% growth
  • 64+ has also witnessed some growth but the numbers are relatively lower
Most discussed concerns: withdrawal symptoms, suicidal behavior, stress, panic, PTSD, eating disorder, drug abuse, alcoholic addiction
Oncology
Majority women between 25 – 34 are seeking consultations for Oncology
Age-wise break-up of oncology consultations by women in 2022
(Age groups of 45-54 & 64+ contribute to 1% of the consultations each)
Women between age group 25 – 44 is seeing maximum growth
  • 25-34 witnessing 118% growth in oncology consultations YoY; followed by
  • 35-44 witnessing 108% growth
  • 45+ witnessing 21% growth
  • While 18 – 24 has seen marginal growth the numbers are relatively lower
Overall, young women in their 20s and 30s formed the majority of consultations across specialties
  • Users in the age group of 25 -34 years contributed to 65% of consultations done by women. It is followed by those between 35-44 years (21%), followed by 18 – 24 years (8%), and 45 – 54 years (3%) and women aged 55 and above (2%)
  • Highest growth in consultations is also seen among young women, with 18 – 24 growing at 56%, followed by 25 – 34 at 23%, and 35 – 44 at 15%
Top 5 specialties consulted by women in 2022 include:
  • Gynecology at 16%
  • Dermatology at 10%
  • General Physician at 8%
  • Dentist and Pediatrician both at 5% each
Commenting on these insights, Dr Alexander Kuruvilla, Chief Healthcare Strategy Officer, Practo, said, “In recent years, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of younger women seeking mental health support and this trend warrants attention and action. There are multiple factors contributing to this trend, such as increasing awareness and de-stigmatisation of mental health concerns, the impact of social media on mental health, and the unique stressors and challenges faced by younger generations. As a community we have to recognise this and provide support and foster overall wellbeing. And we at Practo are committed to making mental health service easily accessible through our healthcare services, with thousands of mental health specialists available to patients.”
Talking about the trend, Dr Rajiv Nandy, Clinical Psychologist,Chairman-Shristi Child Development & Learning Institute said, “Acceptance and awareness has been the most fundamental driving force of this change. Women today are more educated, more aware of themselves and their role in society. They are in positions of power, they know how to exercise their rights, they know when and how to assert themselves and they definitely have the ability to recognise when something is not right and seek help.”
Practo’s insights reports highlight important ailments and consultation-related trends in the country. The information is aggregated, anonymized, and analyzed at scale. We hope that with these findings, our healthcare providers are better equipped to understand disease patterns and address them effectively, helping others become more aware of their options when taking care of their medical needs.