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Mental Health

Mental Health Following A Stroke

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 those who have had a stroke 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.

Post-stroke, when patients 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 when these patients discharge directly home from the hospital without additional supportive services they 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 those who have had a stroke through their recovery. This means that both the patient and their informal caregiver’s psychosocial stress can increase, which can also make recovery more difficult.

Fortunately, there are helpful therapies and supports for those who have had a stroke and their informal caregivers. Receiving these kinds of supports can improve the post-stroke recovery process and quality of care for their loved ones by reducing post-stroke psychosocial stress.

The Mental Health Program 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 those who have had a stroke and their informal caregivers in our communities.


World Stroke Day Awareness

Share this video with others to encourage Stroke Awareness!

For Health Care Professionals

The stroke institute holds a monthly mental health program meeting every 3rd Wednesday of the month at 4 PM CST on TEAMS  to discuss current projects related to stroke and mental wellness and ideas for future projects. Interested in joining? Email Dr. Jennifer Beauchamp at

Research and Clinical Trials


    Cizik School of Nursing is looking to to enroll stroke survivors in their SMART Room observational study exploring the acceptability of customized facial expression and body motion tracking technology for use in a simulated home environment.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • Within 6 months of ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke event
    • Over 18 years old
    • Can read, write, and speak English
    • Have some degree of facial and limb weakness
    • Have a Modified Rankin Score (mRS) between 1 and 3
    • Must reside in the home
    • NOT wheelchair bound

    We are looking for adults who are interested in participating in a research study. We are performing this study to examine how socialization affects the health of those who have had a stroke in the past year.

    Eligible Participants Will:

    • Complete surveys about health and participation in the study
    • Talk to a UTHealth student over the phone at least once a week for 6 weeks

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • Have had a stroke in the past year
    • Have a telephone and be available for weekly phone calls
    • Be 18 years or older
    • Speak, read, and write English

    For more information:

    Jennifer Beauchamp
    Principle Investigator


    Caroline Cox
    Research Coordinator

UTHealth Institute for Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disease Faculty: Recent Publications (2020-2022)

  • Jennifer Beauchamp, PhD, RN
    • Beauchamp, J. E. S., Villarreal, Y., Ancer Leal, A., Savitz, S. I., & Sharrief, A. (2022). Reflections on Obstacles to Stroke Awareness in Spanish-Speaking Hispanic Populations: Lost in Translation. The Journal of Neuroscience Nursing: Journal of the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses, 54(6), 228-230. DOI: 10.1097/JNN.0000000000000674.

    • Castro, A., Leal, A. A., Montiel, T. C., Sharrief, A., Denny, M. C., & Beauchamp, J. E. S. (2022). RAPIDO: Promoting stroke awareness among Spanish speakers. Nursing, 52(1), 46–50.
    • Daundasekara, S. S., Beauchamp, J. E. S., & Hernandez, D. C. (2021). Parenting stress mediates the longitudinal effect of maternal depression on child anxiety/depressive symptoms. Journal of Affective Disorders, 295, 33–39.
    • Naqvi, I. A., Montiel, T. C., Bittar, Y., Hunter, N., Okpala, M., Johnson, C., Weiner, M. G., Savitz, S., Sharrief, A., & Beauchamp, J. E. S. (2021). Internet Access and Usage Among Stroke Survivors and Their Informal Caregivers: Cross-sectional Study. JMIR Formative Research, 5(3), e25123.
    • Achilike, S., Beauchamp, J. E. S., Cron, S. G., Okpala, M., Payen, S. S., Baldridge, L., Okpala, N., Montiel, T. C., Varughese, T., Love, M., Fagundes, C., Savitz, S., & Sharrief, A. (2020). Caregiver Burden and Associated Factors Among Informal Caregivers of Stroke Survivors. The Journal of Neuroscience Nursing: Journal of the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses, 52(6), 277–283.
    • Daundasekara, S. S., Schuler, B. R., Beauchamp, J. E. S., & Hernandez, D. C. (2021). The mediating effect of parenting stress and couple relationship quality on the association between material hardship trajectories and maternal mental health status. Journal of Affective Disorders, 290, 31–39.
    • Love, M. F., Wood, G. L., Wardell, D. W., & Beauchamp, J. E. S. (2021). Resilience and associated psychological, social/cultural, behavioural, and biological factors in patients with cardiovascular disease: A systematic review. European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing: Journal of the Working Group on Cardiovascular Nursing of the European Society of Cardiology, 20(6), 604–617.
    • Beauchamp, J.E.S., Casameni Montiel T., Cai, C., Tallavajhula, S., Hinojosa, E., Okpala, M.N., Vahidy, F. S., Savitz, S.I., Sharrief, A.Z. (2020). A Retrospective Study to Identify Novel Factors Associated with Post-stroke AnxietyJournal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases. DOI: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2019.104582
    • Fournier, L. E., Beauchamp, J. E. S., Zhang, X., Bonojo, E., Love, M., Cooksey, G., Hinojosa, E., Okpala, M. N., Savitz, S. I., & Sharrief, A. Z. (2020). Assessment of the Progression of Poststroke Depression in Ischemic Stroke Patients Using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9. Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases: The Official Journal of National Stroke Association, 29(4), 104561.
    • Love, M.F., Sharrief, A., LoBiondo-Wood, G., Cron S.G., & Beauchamp E.S. (2020). The Effects of Meditation, Race, and Anxiety on Stroke Survivor Resilience. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing. DOI: 10.1097/JNN.0000000000000509
    • Reddy, S. T., Satani, N., Beauchamp, J. E. S., Selvaraj, S., Rajan, S. S., Rahbar, M. H., Tahanan, A., Kim, S., Holder, T., Jiang, X., Chen, L., Kamal, H., Indupuru, H. K. R., Wu, T.-C., & Savitz, S. I. (2021). A meta-analysis of the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on stroke care & the Houston Experience. Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology, 8(4), 929–937.
    • Rhoades, B. D., Beauchamp, J. E. S., Engebretson, J. C., & Wardell, D. W. (2020). Influencing factors on left ventricular assist device adaptation: A systematic review. Heart & Lung: The Journal of Critical Care, 49(5), 501–511.
    • Streck, B. P., Wardell, D. W., LoBiondo-Wood, G., & Beauchamp, J. E. S. (2020). Interdependence of physical and psychological morbidity among patients with cancer and family caregivers: Review of the literature. Psycho-Oncology, 29(6), 974–989.


    • Ancer Leal, A., Castro, A., Kadiyala,A., Casameni Montiel, T., Beauchamp, J., Sharrief, A., Denny, C. (August 2020). Video-based Stroke Education: Stroke Messaging for Spanish-speakers. Virtual 4th Annual International Neuroscience Nursing Research Symposium (INNRS). First place for best poster.
  • Alejandro Chaoul, PhD
    • Sinclair, K. L., Kiser, E., Ratcliff, C. G., Chaoul, A., Hall, M. H., Rinpoche, T. W., & Cohen, L. (2022). Sleep moderates the effects of Tibetan yoga for women with breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy. Supportive Care in Cancer: Official Journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer.
    • Mama, S. K., Bhuiyan, N., Chaoul, A., Cohen, L., Fagundes, C. P., Hoover, D. S., Strong, L. L., Li, Y., Nguyen, N. T., & McNeill, L. H. (2020). Feasibility and acceptability of a faith-based mind-body intervention among African American adults. Translational Behavioral Medicine, 10(4), 928–937.
    • Love, M. F., Sharrief, A., Chaoul, A., Savitz, S., & Beauchamp, J. E. S. (2019). Mind-Body Interventions, Psychological Stressors, and Quality of Life in Stroke Survivors. Stroke, 50(2), 434-440. DOI: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.118.021150.
  • Christopher Fagundes, PhD
    • Fagundes, C. P., Wu-Chung, E. L., & Christian, L. M. (2022). Special Issue: Social Determinants of Health: What we still need to know. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 140, 105713. DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2022.105713.

    • Brown, R. L., LeRoy, A. S., Chen, M. A., Suchting, R., Jaremka, L. M., Liu, J., Heijnen, C., & Fagundes, C. P. (2022) Grief Symptoms Promote Inflammation During Acute Stress Among Bereaved Spouses. Psychological Science, 33(6), 859-873. DOI: 10.1177/09567976211059502.

    • Wu-Chung, E. L., Leal, S. L., Denny, B. T., Cheng, S. L., & Fagundes, C. P. (2022). Spousal caregiving, widowhood, and cognition: A systematic review and a biopsychosocial framework for understanding the relationship between interpersonal losses and dementia risk in older adulthood. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 134, 104487. DOI: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2021.12.010.

    • Madison, A. A., Andridge, R., Shrout, M. R., Renna, M. E., Bennett, J. M., Jaremka, L. M., Fagundes, C. P., Belury, M. A., Malarkey, W. B., & Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K. (2022). Frequent Interpersonal Stress and Inflammatory Reactivity Predict Depressive-Symptom Increases: Two Tests of the Social-Signal-Transduction Theory of Depression. Psychological Science, 33(1), 152-164. DOI: 10.1177/09567976211031225.

    • Chen, M. A., Brown, R. L., Chen, J. Y., de Dios, M. A., Green, C. E., Heijnen, C. J., & Fagundes, C. P. (2022). Childhood maltreatment, subjective social status, and health disparities in bereavement. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 135, 105595. DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2021.105595.

    • Brown, R. L., Fagundes, C. P., Thayer, J. F., & Christian, L. M. (2021). Longitudinal changes in HRV across pregnancy and postpartum: Effect of negative partner relationship qualities. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 129, 105216.
    • Wu, E. L., LeRoy, A. S., Heijnen, C. J., & Fagundes, C. P. (2021). Inflammation and future depressive symptoms among recently bereaved spouses. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 128, 105206.
    • Brown, R. L., Shahane, A. D., Chen, M. A., & Fagundes, C. P. (2020). Cognitive reappraisal and nasal cytokine production following experimental rhinovirus infection. Brain, Behavior, & Immunity - Health, 1.
    • Fagundes, C. P., & Wu, E. L. (2020). Matters of the heart: Grief, morbidity, and mortality. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 29(3), 235–241.
    • Seiler, A., Sood, A. K., Jenewein, J., & Fagundes, C. P. (2020). Can stress promote the pathophysiology of brain metastases? A critical review of biobehavioral mechanisms. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 87, 860–880.
    • Shahane, A. D., LeRoy, A. S., Denny, B. T., & Fagundes, C. P. (2020). Connecting cognition, cardiology, and chromosomes: Cognitive reappraisal impacts the relationship between heart rate variability and telomere length in CD8+CD28- cells. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 112, 104517.
    • Garcini, L. M., Brown, R. L., Chen, M. A., Saucedo, L., Fite, A. M., Ye, P., Ziauddin K., & Fagundes, C. P. (2021). Bereavement among widowed Latinos in the United States: A systematic review of methodology and findings. Death Studies, 45(5), 342-353. DOI: 10.1080/07481187.2019.1648328.

    • Shrout, M. R., Renna, M. E., Madison, A. A., Jaremka, L. M., Fagundes, C. P., Malarkey, W. B., & Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K. (2020). Cortisol slopes and conflict: A spouse's perceived stress matters. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 121, 104839. DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2020.104839.

    • Suglia, S. F., Campo, R. A., Brown, A. G. M., Stoney, C., Boyce, C. A., Appleton, A. A., Bleil, M. E., Boynton-Jarrett, R., Dube, S. R., Dunn, E. C., Ellis, B. J., Fagundes, C. P., Heard-Garris, N. J., Jaffee, S. R., Johnson, S. B., Mujahid, M. S., Slopen, N., Su, S., & Watamura, S. E. (2020). Social Determinants of Cardiovascular Health: Early Life Adversity as a Contributor to Disparities in Cardiovascular Diseases. The Journal of Pediatrics, 219, 267-273. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2019.12.063.

    • Garcini, L. M., Chen, M. A., Brown, R., LeRoy, A. S., Cano, M. A., Peek, K., & Fagundes, C. (2020). "Abrazame Que Ayuda" (Hug Me, It Helps): Social Support and the Effect of Perceived Discrimination on Depression among US- and Foreign-Born Latinxs in the USA. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, 7(3), 481-487. DOI: 10.1007/s40615-019-00676-8.

  • Jennifer Hughes, PhD
    • Hughes, J. B., & Hellmann, J. J. (2005). The application of rarefaction techniques to molecular inventories of microbial diversity. Methods in enzymology397, 292–308.
    • Horner-Devine, M. C., Lage, M., Hughes, J. B., & Bohannan, B. J. (2004). A taxa-area relationship for bacteria. Nature432(7018), 750–753.
    • Bohannan, B. J., Kerr, B., Jessup, C. M., Hughes, J. B., & Sandvik, G. (2002). Trade-offs and coexistence in microbial microcosms. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek81(1-4), 107–115.
    • Ives, A. R., & Hughes, J. B. (2002). General relationships between species diversity and stability in competitive systems. The American naturalist159(4), 388–395.
    • Hughes, J. B., & Roughgarden, J. (2000). Species Diversity and Biomass Stability. The American naturalist155(5), 618–627.
  • Anjail Sharrief, MD, MPH

    • Varughese, T., Casameni Montiel T., Engebretson, J., Savitz, S. I., Sharrief, A., & Beauchamp, J. E. S. (2022). A Person-Centered Approach Understanding Stroke Survivor and Family Caregiver Emotional Health. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing: Journal of the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses, 54(2), 68-73. DOI: 10.1097/JNN.0000000000000640.

    • Love, M. F., Brooks, A. N., Cox, S. D., Okpala, M., Cooksey, G., Cohen, A. S., & Sharrief, A. Z. (2022). The effects of racism and resilience on Black stroke- survivor quality of life: Study protocol and rationale for a mixed-methods approach. Frontiers in Neurology, 13, 885374. DOI: 10.3389/fneur.2022.885374.

    • Sharma, M., Smith, E. E., Pearce, L. A., Shoamanesh, A., Perera, K. S., Coutts, S. B., Damgaard, D., Ameriso, S. F., Rha, J. H., Modrau, B., Yoon, B. W., Romano, M., Messé, S. R., Barlinn, J., Lambeck, J., Saad, F., Berkowitz, S. D., Mundl, H., Connolly, S. J., Hart, R. G., & NAVIGATE ESUS MIND MRI Substudy Investigators. (2022). Frequency and Patterns of Brain Infarction in Patients With Embolic Stroke of Undetermined Source: NAVIGATE ESUS Trial. Stroke, 53(1), 45-52. DOI: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.120.032976.

    • Fifi, J. T., Nguyen, T. N., Song, S., Sharrief, A., Pujara, D. K., Shaker, F., Fournier, L. E., Jones, E. M., Lechtenberg, C. G., Slavin, S. J., Ifejika, N. L., Diaz, M. V., Martin-Schild, S., Schaafsma, J., Tsai, J. P., Alexandrov, A. W., Tjoumakaris, S. I., Sarraj, A., & SELECT Investigators. (2022). Sex differences in endovascular thrombectomy outcomes in large vessel occlusion: a propensity-matched analysis from the SELECT study. Journal of Neurointerventional Surgery, 018348. DOI: 10.1136/neurintsurg-2021-018348.

    • Denny, M. C., Ancer Leal A., Montiel, T. C., Wynne, K., Edquilang, G., Vu, K. Y. T., Vahidy, F., Savitz, S. I., Beauchamp, J. E. S., & Sharrief, A. Z. (2022). Stroke Literacy Video for Patients and Families: Symptoms, Risk Factors, and Prevention. JMIR Formative Research. DOI: 10.2196/31903.

    • Kleindorfer, D. O., Towfighi, A., Chaturvedi, S., Cockroft, K. M., Gutierrez, J., Lombardi-Hill, D., Kamel, H., Kernan, W. N., Kittner, S. J., Leira, E. C., Lennon, O., Meschia, J. F., Nguyen, T. N., Pollak, P. M., Santangeli, P., Sharrief, A. Z., Smith, S. C. Jr., Turan, T. N., & Williams, L. S. (2021). 2021 Guideline for the Prevention of Stroke in Patients With Stroke and Transient Ischemic Attack: A Guideline From the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Stroke, 52(7), e364-e467. DOI: 10.1161/STR.0000000000000375.

    • Sarraj, A., Pizzo, E., Lobotesis, K., Grotta, J. C., Hassan, A. E., Abraham, M. G., Blackburn, S., Day, A. L., Dannenbaum, M. J., Hicks, W., Vora, N. A., Budzik, R. F., Sharrief, A. Z., Martin-Schild, S., Sitton, C. W., Pujara, D. K., Lansberg, M. G., Gupta, R., Albers, G. W., Kunz, W. G., & SELECT Investigators. (2021). Endovascular thrombectomy in patients with large core ischemic stroke: a cost-effectiveness analysis from the SELECT study. Journal of Neurointerventional Surgery, 13(10):875-882. DOI: 10.1136/neurintsurg-2020-016766.

    • Reddy, S., Wu, T. C., Zhang, J., Rahbar, M. H., Ankrom, C., Zha, A., Cossey, T. C., Aertker, B., Vahidy, F., Parsha, K., Jones, E., Sharrief, A., Savitz, S. I., & Jagolino-Cole, A. (2021). Lack of Racial, Ethnic, and Sex Disparities in Ischemic Stroke Care Metrics within a Tele-Stroke Network. Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases: The Official Journal of National Stroke Association, 30(1), 105418. DOI: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2020.105418.

    • Jones, E., Kumar, A., Lopez-Rivera, V., Sebaugh, J., Kamal, H., Sheth, S. A., Sharrief, A., & Zha, A. (2021). Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Functional Outcome after Thrombectomy: A Cohort Study of an Integrated Stroke Network. Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases: The Official Journal of National Stroke Association, 30(12):106131. DOI: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2021.106131.

    • Samuel, S., Reddy, S. T., Parsha, K. N., Nguyen, T., Reddy Indupuru, H. K., Sharrief, A. Z., Zhu, L., McCullough, L. D., & Savitz, S. I. (2021). Routine surveillance of pelvic and lower extremity deep vein thrombosis in stroke patients with patent foramen ovale. Journal of thrombosis and thrombolysis, 51(4), 1150-1156. DOI: 10.1007/s11239-020-02262-w. PMID: 32888135.

    • Kim, Y., Sharrief, A., Kwak, M. J., Khose, S., Abdelkhaleq, R., Salazar-Marioni, S., Zhang, G.-Q., & Sheth, S. A. (2022). Underutilization of Endovascular Therapy in Black Patients With Ischemic Stroke: An Analysis of State and Nationwide Cohorts. Stroke, STROKEAHA121035714.
    • Noser, E. A., Zhang, J., Rahbar, M. H., Sharrief, A. Z., Barreto, A. D., Shaw, S., Grotta, J. C., Savitz, S. I., & Ifejika, N. L. (2021). Leveraging Multimedia Patient Engagement to Address Minority Cerebrovascular Health Needs: Prospective Observational Study. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 23(8), e28748.
    • Sheth, S. A., Wu, T.-C., Sharrief, A., Ankrom, C., Grotta, J. C., Fisher, M., & Savitz, S. I. (2020). Early Lessons From World War COVID Reinventing Our Stroke Systems of Care. Stroke, 51(7), 2268–2272.
    • Skolarus, L. E., Sharrief, A., Gardener, H., Jenkins, C., & Boden-Albala, B. (2020). Considerations in Addressing Social Determinants of Health to Reduce Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Stroke Outcomes in the United States. Stroke, 51(11), 3433–3439.


The UTSHB Consortium is a UT System Administration initiative designed to improve the health of Texans by providing a standardized biospecimen/related data search and request mechanism for UT personnel at participating institutions. Mental health data is available with appropriate approvals. Find out more at: