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L’Etude Suisse sur les Maladies Respiratoires des Enfants (SPAC) est une étude d’observation nationale chez les enfants et adolescents ayant des problèmes respiratoires. Le but de cette étude est de mieux connaître les symptômes et la fréquence des maladies respiratoires, d’observer l’évolution de la maladie et d’assurer un traitement médical de qualité. Beaucoup d’enfants ont des problèmes respiratoires mais nous ne savons cependant que peu de choses sur leurs causes, leur traitement et leur évolution. Il est donc important de collecter et d’évaluer les données d’une majorité de patients. Leur participation apporte une contribution importante à l’Etude Suisse sur les Maladies Respiratoires des Enfants car cela permet d’améliorer les connaissances médicales et les traitement futurs.

Summary in English

Chronic breathing problems, such as cough, wheeze and difficulty breathing, are common in children. Most research on these problems used surveys of the general population, which consists of mainly healthy children. There are only few studies in representative groups of patients seen in healthcare.

The Swiss Paediatric Airway Cohort (SPAC) is a national, prospective study of children and adolescents who visit physicians for recurrent conditions such as wheeze, cough, and exercise-related respiratory problems. SPAC is an observational study, so children receive only tests that are necessary for them, no investigations are done specifically for the study. The comprehensive baseline assessment includes questionnaires for families and data from hospital records, such as of lung function and allergy tests, and recorded diagnoses and treatments. The children are followed over time with annual questionnaires to the parents, monthly symptom scores collected on mobile phones, and follow-up visits.

The aim of SPAC is to help answering important questions about clinical presentation, diagnosis, treatment, and short- and long-term outcome of common respiratory problems in children. Currently, 347 children from four major hospitals in Switzerland participate, but more clinics and practices will help to recruit at least 3000 patients.

SPAC will provide real-life data on children visiting the Swiss health care system for common respiratory problems, and provide a research platform for health services research and nested clinical and translational studies.