Franchesca Arias

Franchesca Arias, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Department: Department of Clinical and Health Psychology
Business Phone: (352) 273-9794
Business Email:

About Franchesca Arias

Dr. Franchesca Arias is originally from Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic. Dr. Arias is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology at the University of Florida and an AlzSTARS Scholar with the 1Florida Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. She completed her Ph.D. at Fordham University with a specialization in clinical neuropsychology. At Fordham University, Dr. Arias worked under Dr. Monica Rivera Mindt’s mentorship to examine cognition and health disparities in adults from socioeconomically and ethnoracially underrepresented groups with opioid use disorders. Subsequently, Dr. Arias completed her clinical internship and an NIA-funded T32 postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Florida (UF). During her postdoctoral fellowship, Dr. Arias received specialty training in perioperative cognition. Subsequently, she worked with Dr. Sharon Inouye at the Aging Brain Center of the Hebrew SeniorLife, exploring the contribution of social determinants of health on cognitive changes in older adults.

Additional Positions:
AlzSTARS Scholar
2022 – Current · 1Florida ADRC

Teaching Profile

Courses Taught
CLP6943 Core Practicum in Clinical Psychology
CLP3911 Introduction to Clinical Research
CLP6945 Advanced Practicum in Neuropsychology
CLP6971 Research for Master’s Thesis
HSC4970 Public Health and Health Professions Senior Honors Thesis
CLP7980 Research for Doctoral Dissertation
Teaching Philosophy
Teaching is one of the most rewarding dimensions of working in higher education. It is through this dynamic process of polishing ideas to present them in a succinct and comprehensive manner that teachers develop into educators who have expertise in the material at hand. Moreover, stimulating emerging scholars is instrumental to the development of any field and one of our responsibilities as social scientists. As an instructor, Dr. Arias strives to challenge, empower, and promote self-awareness among her students. Informed by the concept of the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) set forth by Lev Vygotsky, Dr. Arias believes that students learn best when they are challenged within the context of a collaborative environment. In class, she begins by getting to know her students and their aspirations and encouraging them to identify members of the class whom they believe complement them. Gradually, the classroom transitions into a place where students are challenged to be more outspoken and to complete projects and activities that take them out of their comfort zone. Dr. Arias often asks her students to identify the interpersonal, social, and economic factors that shape their own experiences. Throughout the semester, she models skills that she considers instrumental to learning: curiosity, open-mindedness, and a commitment to engaging with the material critically. Ultimately, her goal is to promote mastery of the material presented in class while acknowledging and respecting individuality. That is, the concept of mastery should be adapted as each student has a different developmental trajectory. Another cornerstone of her approach to teaching is her desire to empower students. She firmly believes that taking ownership of one’s education is conducive to learning. Therefore, she encourages her students to be active agents in their academic experience, creating new training opportunities, evaluating how each step of the process contributes to the overall learning experience, and identifying extracurricular opportunities that complement their classroom experience.

Clinical Profile

Dr. Arias is a bicultural and bilingual (English and Spanish) Clinical Neuropsychologist who provides neuropsychological services to patients with diverse cognitive and behavioral conditions at the Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases. Dr. Arias spearheads the cross-cultural neuropsychological efforts in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology at UF. She evaluates patients 21 and older in English and Spanish. In addition, she evaluates monolingual, English-speaking patients, with suspected neurodegenerative conditions (such as Alzheimer’s Disease). Thus, referrals from Neurology, Oncology, Geriatric Medicine, and Primary care will be accepted.

  • Clinical Health Psychology
Areas of Interest
  • Alzheimer disease
  • Delirium
  • Memory loss
  • Neurocognitive disorder
  • Stroke

Research Profile

Dr. Arias’ research interests center around the intersection between cognitive aging, contextual and socioeconomic factors, and medical conditions in older adults. Specifically, her work explores social determinants of health and their role in propelling or interfering with, healthy cognitive aging in patients from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Dr. Arias has received funding from the Alzheimer’s Association (2019-AARFD-644816) and the National Institute on Aging (NIA; Diversity Supplement to Grant No. P01AG031720; PI: Inouye) to identify contextual-level factors that increase the vulnerability for acute and long-term cognitive decline to explore social determinants of health in the context of acute changes in cognition in older adults presenting for major, non-cardiac, surgery.

Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID)



Plasma Alzheimer’s biomarkers and brain amyloid in Hispanic and non-Hispanic older adults.
Alzheimer's & dementia : the journal of the Alzheimer's Association. 20(1):437-446 [DOI] 10.1002/alz.13456. [PMID] 37671801.
Social determinants of health and incident postoperative delirium: Exploring key relationships in the SAGES study
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 72(2):369-381 [DOI] 10.1111/jgs.18662. [PMID] 37933703.
Culturally and Linguistically Informed Neuropsychological Evaluation Protocol for Primarily Spanish-Speaking Adults
Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology. 38(3):408-432 [DOI] 10.1093/arclin/acad018.
Parental Education and Delirium Risk after Surgery in Older Adults
Clinical Gerontologist. 46(2):253-266 [DOI] 10.1080/07317115.2022.2111289. [PMID] 36001869.
Shared Decision Making for Elective Surgical Procedures in Older Adults with and without Cognitive Insufficiencies
Medical Decision Making. 43(6):656-666 [DOI] 10.1177/0272989×231182436.
A framework of social determinants of health for delirium tailored to older adults.
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 70(1):235-242 [DOI] 10.1111/jgs.17465. [PMID] 34693992.
Identifying Delirium in Persons With Moderate or Severe Dementia: Review of Challenges and an Illustrative Approach.
The American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry. 30(10):1067-1078 [DOI] 10.1016/j.jagp.2022.04.003. [PMID] 35581117.
Paternal Occupation and Delirium Risk in Older Adults: A Potential Marker of Early-Life Exposures.
Innovation in aging. 6(5) [DOI] 10.1093/geroni/igac050. [PMID] 36128514.
Underrepresentation of diverse populations and clinical characterization in opioid agonist treatment research: A systematic review of the neurocognitive effects of buprenorphine and methadone treatment.
Journal of substance abuse treatment. 135 [DOI] 10.1016/j.jsat.2021.108644. [PMID] 34857427.
Education differentially contributes to cognitive reserve across racial/ethnic groups.
Alzheimer's & dementia : the journal of the Alzheimer's Association. 17(1):70-80 [DOI] 10.1002/alz.12176. [PMID] 32827354.
Neurocognitive, psychiatric, and substance use characteristics in a diverse sample of persons with OUD who are starting methadone or buprenorphine/naloxone in opioid treatment programs.
Addiction science & clinical practice. 16(1) [DOI] 10.1186/s13722-021-00272-4. [PMID] 34689841.
Predictors of Caregiver Burden in Delirium: Patient and Caregiver Factors.
Journal of gerontological nursing. 47(9):32-38 [DOI] 10.3928/00989134-20210803-03. [PMID] 34432572.
Cognitive Correlates of Digital Clock Drawing Metrics in Older Adults with and without Mild Cognitive Impairment.
Journal of Alzheimer's disease : JAD. 75(1):73-83 [DOI] 10.3233/JAD-191089. [PMID] 32250300.
Common neurodegenerative disorders in the perioperative setting: Recommendations for screening from the Society for Perioperative Assessment and Quality Improvement (SPAQI).
Perioperative care and operating room management. 20 [DOI] 10.1016/j.pcorm.2020.100092. [PMID] 32577538.
Neighborhood-Level Social Disadvantage and Risk of Delirium Following Major Surgery.
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 68(12):2863-2871 [DOI] 10.1111/jgs.16782. [PMID] 32865254.
Rapid in-person cognitive screening in the preoperative setting: Test considerations and recommendations from the Society for Perioperative Assessment and Quality Improvement (SPAQI)
Perioperative Care and Operating Room Management. 19 [DOI] 10.1016/j.pcorm.2020.100089. [PMID] 32342018.
Rapid in-person cognitive screening in the preoperative setting: Test considerations and recommendations from the Society for Perioperative Assessment and Quality Improvement (SPAQI).
Journal of clinical anesthesia. 62 [DOI] 10.1016/j.jclinane.2020.109724. [PMID] 32018131.
Teleneuropsychology for Monolingual and Bilingual Spanish-Speaking Adults in the Time of COVID-19: Rationale, Professional Considerations, and Resources.
Archives of clinical neuropsychology : the official journal of the National Academy of Neuropsychologists. 35(8):1249-1265 [DOI] 10.1093/arclin/acaa100. [PMID] 33150414.
Feasibility and Rationale for Incorporating Frailty and Cognitive Screening Protocols in a Preoperative Anesthesia Clinic.
Anesthesia and analgesia. 129(3):830-838 [DOI] 10.1213/ANE.0000000000004190. [PMID] 31425227.
Pilot Study: Neurocognitive Disorders and Colonoscopy in Older Adults.
Anesthesia and analgesia. 129(3):e89-e93 [DOI] 10.1213/ANE.0000000000004212. [PMID] 31425226.
Delirium History and Preoperative Mild Neurocognitive Disorder: An Opportunity for Multidisciplinary Patient-Centered Care.
The American journal of case reports. 19:1324-1328 [DOI] 10.12659/AJCR.911437. [PMID] 30397190.
Neuropsychological function is improved among opioid dependent adults who adhere to opiate agonist treatment with buprenorphine-naloxone: a preliminary study.
Substance abuse treatment, prevention, and policy. 12(1) [DOI] 10.1186/s13011-017-0133-2. [PMID] 29141650.
Synchronization and variability imbalance underlie cognitive impairment in primary-progressive multiple sclerosis.
Scientific reports. 7 [DOI] 10.1038/srep46411. [PMID] 28429774.
Neurocognitive, psychiatric, and substance use characteristics in opioid dependent adults.
Addictive behaviors. 60:137-43 [DOI] 10.1016/j.addbeh.2016.03.018. [PMID] 27131800.
Effects of prenatal exposure to air pollutants (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) on the development of brain white matter, cognition, and behavior in later childhood.
JAMA psychiatry. 72(6):531-40 [DOI] 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.57. [PMID] 25807066.


Jul 2023 – Jun 2024
Impact of Novel Rehabilitative Approaches for Dysphagia in Patients with Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias
Role: Principal Investigator

Contact Details

(352) 273-9794
Business Mailing:
PO Box 100165
Business Street: