- UTHealth Home
Our brain is in charge of most things in our body, including our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. When someone experiences a stroke, it can affect parts of the brain that control our mood and behavior so that they no longer work as they used to before the stroke. That is why stroke survivors often struggle with common mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression, and social isolation, during and after their recovery. In general, we call these concerns Post-Stroke Psychosocial Stress.
When stroke survivors do not get treatment for post-stroke psychosocial stress, it can take longer for them to feel better during their recovery. This can have a negative effect on survivors’ quality of life as well, which in turn can worsen the post-stroke psychosocial stress. Add to this the fact that stroke survivors often discharge directly home from the hospital without additional supportive services and are only able to receive care from family members, spouses, and loved ones, whom we call informal caregivers. Because informal caregivers usually don’t have any medical training, they can feel overwhelmed and develop caregiver burden and psychosocial stress. Increased caregiver burden can affect the informal caregiver’s ability to help the stroke survivor through their recovery. This means that both the stroke survivor and their informal caregiver’s psychosocial stress can increase, which can also make recovery more difficult.
Fortunately, there are helpful therapies and supports for stroke survivors and informal caregivers. Receiving these kinds of supports can improve the recovery process for the stroke survivor and their loved ones by reducing post-stroke psychosocial stress.
The Mental Health Core focuses on developing behavioral interventions, supports, and therapies for this crucial post-stroke period. We are interested in learning about how the interventions can improve post-stroke psychosocial stress so that we can improve the education and support services for stroke survivors and their informal caregivers in our communities.
Jennifer E. (Sanner) Beauchamp, PhD, RN, FAAN
Associate Professor, Department of Research
Anjail Sharrief, MD, MPH
Associate Professor, Department of Neurology
Director of Stroke Prevention
Jennifer Hughes, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Alejandro M. Chaoul, PhD
Director, The Jung Center’s Mind Body Spirit Institute
Christopher Fagundes, PhD
Associate Professor, Rice University