Beads of Courage as a Psychosocial Intervention for Children with Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is a fatal inherited autosomal recessive disorder associated with defective chloride transport resulting in abnormally thick secretions and ineffective clearance which causes alterations of the respiratory, gastrointestinal, integumentary, and reproductive systems (McCance et al., 2014). Cystic fibrosis affects approximately 30,000 children and adults in the United States and 70,000 worldwide (McCance et al., 2014). Median age of diagnosis is 6-8 months and the median age of survival is 37 years old (March & Schrub, 2013). As survival into adulthood becomes a reality, psychosocial interventions become an increasingly important aspect of medical care for these chronic illnesses. The Beads of Courage Program is a frequently used resilience based psychosocial intervention for children with chronic illnesses and life-threatening conditions, yet there is little research demonstrating it’s effectiveness. Although Beads of Courage is used in pediatric hospitals worldwide, research on the program is limited to one study by the founder of the program pediatric cancer patients. There is an increasing need for psychosocial interventions that are theory and evidence based for children with chronic illnesses. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the Beads of Courage Program as a psychosocial intervention to increase resilience in children suffering from cystic fibrosis.