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Lisa Pepper Gwyther

Associate Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Division: 
Geriatric Behavioral Health
Category: 
Office: 3508 Busse Bldg, Durham, NC 27710
Campus Mail: DUMC Box 3600 Med Ctr, Durham, NC 27710

Lisa Gwyther, MSW, LCSW, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Co-Director for the Social Work Professional Unit.  Ms. Gwyther (along with Co-Director William Meyer, MSW, LCSW) provide mentorship to the department’s social workers and communicates the needs of the department’s social workers to senior leadership.

Ms. Gwyther is approaching her fourth decade of service dedicated to help the increasing number of individuals and families living with Alzheimer's and related diseases.   The focus of her work has been in the community as a representative of the Duke Center for Aging,  the Bryan Alzheimer's Disease Research Center and the Duke Family support program.   She has had continuous annual contracts from the NC DHHS Division of Aging since 1984, reaching families, health and social service professionals in communities throughout North Carolina.  She is the founder and Director of the Duke Center for Aging’s Alzheimer’s Family Support Program, which was named “Agency of the Year” by the NC Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers in 1999.

Ms. Gwyther received her graduate training in social work at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. She has published over 144 articles, book chapters, and books on Alzheimer’s care and family caregiving research. She served on the U.S. federal advisory panel on Alzheimer’s disease for nine years. Ms. Gwyther was recognized in the 20th anniversary issue of Contemporary Long-Term Care as one of the 20 people who made a difference in U.S. long-term care during those twenty years. She was named a distinguished social work practitioner by the National Academies of Practice.

Ms. Gwyther is the co-author of The Alzheimer’s Action Plan:  A Family Guide (2009), winner of two prestigious consumer health awards. 

Most recently she was a member of The National Academies Committees on Cognitive Aging for the 2015 report: Cognitive Aging: Progress in Understanding and Opportunities for Action, and she co-chaired the NC Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Task Force of the NC Institute of Medicine and NC DHHS which issued a report and recommendations to the NC Legislature in April 2016.

Current research interests: Alzheimer's disease nursing home and assisted living care, community translation of evidence-based dementia caregiver interventions, early stage Alzheimer's programming, non-pharmacological approaches to dementia-related behavioral symptoms.

Education and Training

  • M.S.W., Case Western Reserve University, 1969
  • B.A., Case Western Reserve University, 1967

Publications

Gwyther, L. P., and A. D. Weinberg. “Discontinuing medications for a resident with advanced Alzheimer's Disease.” Annals of Long Term Care 14, no. 5 (May 1, 2006): 46–48.

Scholars@Duke

Brummett, Beverly H., Michael A. Babyak, Ilene C. Siegler, Peter P. Vitaliano, Edna L. Ballard, Lisa P. Gwyther, and Redford B. Williams. “Associations among perceptions of social support, negative affect, and quality of sleep in caregivers and noncaregivers.” Health Psychol 25, no. 2 (March 2006): 220–25. https://doi.org/10.1037/0278-6133.25.2.220.

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Pope, S. K., M. T. Horne, M. C. Morris, M. Sano, L. P. Gwyther, N. E. Lombardo, C. Beck, and S. T. DeKosky. “Complementary and alternative therapies for Alzheimer's disease: A conference summary.” Alzheimer’S Care Quarterly 7, no. 1 (January 1, 2006): 13–31.

Scholars@Duke

Evans, Dwight L., Dennis S. Charney, Lydia Lewis, Robert N. Golden, Jack M. Gorman, K Ranga Rama Krishnan, Charles B. Nemeroff, et al. “Mood disorders in the medically ill: scientific review and recommendations.” Biol Psychiatry 58, no. 3 (August 1, 2005): 175–89. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2005.05.001.

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Gwyther, Lisa P. “Family care and Alzheimer's disease: what do we know? What can we do?” N C Med J 66, no. 1 (January 2005): 37–42.

Scholars@Duke

Gwyther, Lisa P., Terry Altilio, Susan Blacker, Grace Christ, Ellen L. Csikai, Nancy Hooyman, Betty Kramer, Julie Linton, Mary Raymer, and Judith Howe. “Social work competencies in palliative and end-of-life care.” J Soc Work End Life Palliat Care 1, no. 1 (2005): 87–120. https://doi.org/10.1300/J457v01n01_06.

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Torti, Frank M., Lisa P. Gwyther, Shelby D. Reed, Joëlle Y. Friedman, and Kevin A. Schulman. “A multinational review of recent trends and reports in dementia caregiver burden.” Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord 18, no. 2 (April 2004): 99–109. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.wad.0000126902.37908.b2.

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Gwyther, L. P., and L. Willer. “How do we assess and determine the mental capacity of our patients with Alzheimer's disease and dementia for consent to conjugal visits with their spouse?” Annals of Long Term Care 12, no. 4 (April 1, 2004): 27–28.

Scholars@Duke

Bosek, Marcia Sue DeWolf, Elinar Lowry, David A. Lindeman, J Russell Burck, and Lisa P. Gwyther. “Promoting a good death for persons with dementia in nursing facilities: family caregivers' perspectives.” Jonas Healthc Law Ethics Regul 5, no. 2 (June 2003): 34–41. https://doi.org/10.1097/00128488-200306000-00006.

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Stuckey, J. C., and L. P. Gwyther. “Dementia, Religion, and Spirituality.” Dementia 2, no. 3 (January 1, 2003): 291–97. https://doi.org/10.1177/14713012030023001.

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