26 research outputs found

    From Zelda to Stanley

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    Proponents of the walking simulator genre laud it for itscomplex storytelling. As Gohardani (2017) explains, walking simulators are “about dropping the player into an experience packed with ... a compelling narrative” (para. 5). In order to more fully understand why this genre is so closely associated with storytelling and to provide insight into the underlying psychology of genre in video games, this article linguistically evaluates the narratives of walking simulators. It uses integrative complexity, a linguistic variable with an established research history, to compare the complexity of the writing in walking simulators to the writing in five mainstream video game genres (RPGs, shooters, action/adventure games, fighting games, and strategy games). Randomly sampling dialogue from 30 video games, a one-way ANOVA (analysis of variance) revealed no statistically significant linguistic differences between the genres. These results indicate that compelling and complex writing can be found in any genre and is likely not a function of any individual genre, contrary to popular opinion. This study provides a foundation for future researchers to build upon and continue the linguistic evaluation of walking simulators

    Disputing space-based biases in unilateral complex regional pain syndrome

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    There is some evidence that people with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) show reduced attention to the affected relative to unaffected limb and its surrounding space, resembling hemispatial neglect after brain injury. These neuropsychological symptoms could be related to central mechanisms of pathological pain and contribute to its clinical manifestation. However, the existing evidence of changes in spatial cognition is limited and often inconsistent. We examined visuospatial attention, the mental representation of space, and spatially-defined motor function in 54 people with unilateral upper-limb CRPS and 22 pain-free controls. Contrary to our hypotheses and previous evidence, individuals with CRPS did not show any systematic spatial biases in visuospatial attention to or representation of the side of space corresponding to their affected limb (relative to the unaffected side). We found very little evidence of directional slowing of movements towards the affected relative to unaffected side that would be consistent with motor neglect. People with CRPS were, however, slower than controls to initiate and execute movements with both their affected and unaffected hands, which suggests disrupted central motor networks. Finally, we found no evidence of any clinical relevance of changes in spatial cognition because there were no relationships between the magnitude of spatial biases and the severity of pain or other CRPS symptoms. The results did reveal potential relationships between CRPS pain and symptom severity, subjective body perception disturbance, and extent of motor impairment, which would support treatments focused on normalizing body representation and improving motor function. Our findings suggest that previously reported spatial biases in CRPS might have been overstated

    Procalcitonin Is Not a Reliable Biomarker of Bacterial Coinfection in People With Coronavirus Disease 2019 Undergoing Microbiological Investigation at the Time of Hospital Admission

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    Abstract Admission procalcitonin measurements and microbiology results were available for 1040 hospitalized adults with coronavirus disease 2019 (from 48 902 included in the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infections Consortium World Health Organization Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK study). Although procalcitonin was higher in bacterial coinfection, this was neither clinically significant (median [IQR], 0.33 [0.11–1.70] ng/mL vs 0.24 [0.10–0.90] ng/mL) nor diagnostically useful (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve, 0.56 [95% confidence interval, .51–.60]).</jats:p

    Implementation of corticosteroids in treating COVID-19 in the ISARIC WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK:prospective observational cohort study

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    BACKGROUND: Dexamethasone was the first intervention proven to reduce mortality in patients with COVID-19 being treated in hospital. We aimed to evaluate the adoption of corticosteroids in the treatment of COVID-19 in the UK after the RECOVERY trial publication on June 16, 2020, and to identify discrepancies in care. METHODS: We did an audit of clinical implementation of corticosteroids in a prospective, observational, cohort study in 237 UK acute care hospitals between March 16, 2020, and April 14, 2021, restricted to patients aged 18 years or older with proven or high likelihood of COVID-19, who received supplementary oxygen. The primary outcome was administration of dexamethasone, prednisolone, hydrocortisone, or methylprednisolone. This study is registered with ISRCTN, ISRCTN66726260. FINDINGS: Between June 17, 2020, and April 14, 2021, 47 795 (75·2%) of 63 525 of patients on supplementary oxygen received corticosteroids, higher among patients requiring critical care than in those who received ward care (11 185 [86·6%] of 12 909 vs 36 415 [72·4%] of 50 278). Patients 50 years or older were significantly less likely to receive corticosteroids than those younger than 50 years (adjusted odds ratio 0·79 [95% CI 0·70–0·89], p=0·0001, for 70–79 years; 0·52 [0·46–0·58], p80 years), independent of patient demographics and illness severity. 84 (54·2%) of 155 pregnant women received corticosteroids. Rates of corticosteroid administration increased from 27·5% in the week before June 16, 2020, to 75–80% in January, 2021. INTERPRETATION: Implementation of corticosteroids into clinical practice in the UK for patients with COVID-19 has been successful, but not universal. Patients older than 70 years, independent of illness severity, chronic neurological disease, and dementia, were less likely to receive corticosteroids than those who were younger, as were pregnant women. This could reflect appropriate clinical decision making, but the possibility of inequitable access to life-saving care should be considered. FUNDING: UK National Institute for Health Research and UK Medical Research Council

    Co-infections, secondary infections, and antimicrobial use in patients hospitalised with COVID-19 during the first pandemic wave from the ISARIC WHO CCP-UK study: a multicentre, prospective cohort study

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    Background: Microbiological characterisation of co-infections and secondary infections in patients with COVID-19 is lacking, and antimicrobial use is high. We aimed to describe microbiologically confirmed co-infections and secondary infections, and antimicrobial use, in patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19. Methods: The International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infections Consortium (ISARIC) WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK (CCP-UK) study is an ongoing, prospective cohort study recruiting inpatients from 260 hospitals in England, Scotland, and Wales, conducted by the ISARIC Coronavirus Clinical Characterisation Consortium. Patients with a confirmed or clinician-defined high likelihood of SARS-CoV-2 infection were eligible for inclusion in the ISARIC WHO CCP-UK study. For this specific study, we excluded patients with a recorded negative SARS-CoV-2 test result and those without a recorded outcome at 28 days after admission. Demographic, clinical, laboratory, therapeutic, and outcome data were collected using a prespecified case report form. Organisms considered clinically insignificant were excluded. Findings: We analysed data from 48 902 patients admitted to hospital between Feb 6 and June 8, 2020. The median patient age was 74 years (IQR 59–84) and 20 786 (42·6%) of 48 765 patients were female. Microbiological investigations were recorded for 8649 (17·7%) of 48 902 patients, with clinically significant COVID-19-related respiratory or bloodstream culture results recorded for 1107 patients. 762 (70·6%) of 1080 infections were secondary, occurring more than 2 days after hospital admission. Staphylococcus aureus and Haemophilus influenzae were the most common pathogens causing respiratory co-infections (diagnosed ≤2 days after admission), with Enterobacteriaceae and S aureus most common in secondary respiratory infections. Bloodstream infections were most frequently caused by Escherichia coli and S aureus. Among patients with available data, 13 390 (37·0%) of 36 145 had received antimicrobials in the community for this illness episode before hospital admission and 39 258 (85·2%) of 46 061 patients with inpatient antimicrobial data received one or more antimicrobials at some point during their admission (highest for patients in critical care). We identified frequent use of broad-spectrum agents and use of carbapenems rather than carbapenem-sparing alternatives. Interpretation: In patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19, microbiologically confirmed bacterial infections are rare, and more likely to be secondary infections. Gram-negative organisms and S aureus are the predominant pathogens. The frequency and nature of antimicrobial use are concerning, but tractable targets for stewardship interventions exist. Funding: National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), UK Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust, UK Department for International Development, Bill &amp; Melinda Gates Foundation, EU Platform for European Preparedness Against (Re-)emerging Epidemics, NIHR Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections at University of Liverpool, and NIHR HPRU in Respiratory Infections at Imperial College London

    Co-infections, secondary infections, and antimicrobial use in patients hospitalised with COVID-19 during the first pandemic wave from the ISARIC WHO CCP-UK study: a multicentre, prospective cohort study

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    Background: Microbiological characterisation of co-infections and secondary infections in patients with COVID-19 is lacking, and antimicrobial use is high. We aimed to describe microbiologically confirmed co-infections and secondary infections, and antimicrobial use, in patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19. Methods: The International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infections Consortium (ISARIC) WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK (CCP-UK) study is an ongoing, prospective cohort study recruiting inpatients from 260 hospitals in England, Scotland, and Wales, conducted by the ISARIC Coronavirus Clinical Characterisation Consortium. Patients with a confirmed or clinician-defined high likelihood of SARS-CoV-2 infection were eligible for inclusion in the ISARIC WHO CCP-UK study. For this specific study, we excluded patients with a recorded negative SARS-CoV-2 test result and those without a recorded outcome at 28 days after admission. Demographic, clinical, laboratory, therapeutic, and outcome data were collected using a prespecified case report form. Organisms considered clinically insignificant were excluded. Findings: We analysed data from 48 902 patients admitted to hospital between Feb 6 and June 8, 2020. The median patient age was 74 years (IQR 59–84) and 20 786 (42·6%) of 48 765 patients were female. Microbiological investigations were recorded for 8649 (17·7%) of 48 902 patients, with clinically significant COVID-19-related respiratory or bloodstream culture results recorded for 1107 patients. 762 (70·6%) of 1080 infections were secondary, occurring more than 2 days after hospital admission. Staphylococcus aureus and Haemophilus influenzae were the most common pathogens causing respiratory co-infections (diagnosed ≤2 days after admission), with Enterobacteriaceae and S aureus most common in secondary respiratory infections. Bloodstream infections were most frequently caused by Escherichia coli and S aureus. Among patients with available data, 13 390 (37·0%) of 36 145 had received antimicrobials in the community for this illness episode before hospital admission and 39 258 (85·2%) of 46 061 patients with inpatient antimicrobial data received one or more antimicrobials at some point during their admission (highest for patients in critical care). We identified frequent use of broad-spectrum agents and use of carbapenems rather than carbapenem-sparing alternatives. Interpretation: In patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19, microbiologically confirmed bacterial infections are rare, and more likely to be secondary infections. Gram-negative organisms and S aureus are the predominant pathogens. The frequency and nature of antimicrobial use are concerning, but tractable targets for stewardship interventions exist. Funding: National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), UK Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust, UK Department for International Development, Bill &amp; Melinda Gates Foundation, EU Platform for European Preparedness Against (Re-)emerging Epidemics, NIHR Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections at University of Liverpool, and NIHR HPRU in Respiratory Infections at Imperial College London
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