Oncology and mental health consultations rising among Indian women

Indian women demonstrated a proactive approach toward healthcare this year. Representative image: BearFotos / Shutterstock

New Delhi: Compared to the prior year, Indian women demonstrated a proactive approach toward healthcare as evidenced by a 23 per cent increase in consultations, according to data gathered from 78,000 women users. Oncology and mental health experienced YoY increases of 96 per cent and 66 per cent, respectively, making them the two fastest-growing fields. Notably, younger women tended to seek out the majority of mental health consultations, especially for psychotherapy, psychiatry, and psychology.

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 per cent of the consultations)

» Younger women (under 25) are seeking mental health support

» 18 - 24 witnessing 59 per cent growth in consultations YoY; followed by

» 25 - 34 witnessing 38 per cent growth

» 35 - 44 witnessing 23 per cent growth

» And 45 - 64 witnessing 15 per cent growth

» 64+ has also witnessed some growth but the numbers are relatively lower

Most discussed concerns: withdrawal symptoms, suicidal behaviour, stress, panic, PTSD, eating disorder, drug abuse, alcoholic addiction


The 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 per cent of the consultations each)

Women between age group 25 - 44 is seeing maximum growth

» 25 - 34 witnessing 118 per cent growth in oncology consultations YoY; followed by

» 35 - 44 witnessing 108 per cent growth

» 45+ witnessing 21 per cent 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 per cent of consultations done by women. It is followed by those between 35 - 44 years (21 per cent), followed by 18 - 24 years (8 per cent), and 45 - 54 years (3 per cent) and women aged 55 and above (2 per cent)

Highest growth in consultations is also seen among young women, with 18 - 24 growing at 56 per cent, followed by 25 - 34 at 23 per cent, and 35 - 44 at 15 per cent

Top 5 specialties consulted by women in 2022 include:

» Gynecology at 16 per cent

» Dermatology at 10 per cent

» General Physician at 8 per cent

» Dentist and Pediatrician both at 5 per cent 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 well-being. 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, anonymised, and analyzed at scale.

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