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Q&A with Kim Johnson, MD: Isolation, Comorbidities Play a Part in Psychiatric Issues

Wednesday, January 13, 2021
By Lori Malone
Health Care Provider Talking with Older Adult Woman with Mask

Psychiatrists who treat older adults for anxiety, depression, memory disorders, and psychiatric manifestations of neurological diseases often encounter complex and interconnected circumstances that contribute to the development and exacerbation of patients’ conditions.

Geriatric psychiatrist Kim G. Johnson, MD, who also serves as chief of memory disorders for the Department of Neurology, says it’s important to evaluate and treat the whole patient—looking beyond the condition that may have brought the patient in for care and recommending and coordinating treatments with other specialists.

In this Q&A, she explains some of the comorbidities that make treating patients with psychiatric disorders challenging and how clinicians can help older adults who are coping with depression and anxiety, particularly amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the Q&A on the Duke Health website.