Original Research

Nurses’ practice of metabolic monitoring for patients on antipsychotics in Lesotho

Relebohile P. Matete, Libuseng M. Rathobei
South African Journal of Psychiatry | Vol 30 | a2219 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v30i0.2219 | © 2024 Relebohile P. Matete, Libuseng M. Rathobei | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 October 2023 | Published: 22 April 2024

About the author(s)

Relebohile P. Matete, Department of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, National University of Lesotho, Maseru, Lesotho
Libuseng M. Rathobei, Department of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, National University of Lesotho, Maseru, Lesotho


Background: Severe mental illness is associated with higher physical health morbidities and reduced life expectancy, with an estimated 14.3% of global deaths attributed to mental disorders. Antipsychotic medications (APs) used in treatment contribute to physical health issues, including metabolic and cardiovascular effects.

Aim: The aim of this study was to assess nurses’ practices regarding metabolic monitoring for patients prescribed antipsychotic medications at Mohlomi Hospital in Lesotho.

Setting: The study was conducted at Mohlomi Hospital, the primary psychiatric facility in Lesotho.

Methods: Using a cross-sectional design, 44 nurses from Mohlomi Hospital participated in the study. A structured questionnaire assessed nurses’ metabolic monitoring practices.

Results: Most of the respondents were female (n = 30, 75%), and minority were male (n = 10, 25%). The academic qualifications of respondents were distributed as follows: 40% (16) held a nursing assistant certificate and 22.5% (9) held an advanced nursing diploma, among others. The average age of all respondents was 39.05 (s.d. 8.9), with an average of 8 years of experience in psychiatry (s.d. 7.6). The overall rate of nurses’ practices of metabolic monitoring for patients taking antipsychotic medications showed variability, with a mean score of 2.83 (s.d. 0.524). However, only 20% performed ECG tests, 22.5% measured blood pressure, 27.5% tested for glucose abnormalities and 17.5% conducted lipid profile testing.

Conclusion: Results revealed a significant gap in the practice of metabolic monitoring among nurses with various aspects of metabolic monitoring, not being adequately monitored.

Contribution: The study’s findings shall inform policy and guidelines for monitoring patients on antipsychotic medications while guiding future research.


nurse; metabolic monitoring; antipsychotic medication; patients; health care institution

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being


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