BACKGROUND: Hypertension is one of the frequent problems for which family physicians are well encountered to manage. Nonpharmacologic measures which include stress relaxation, low salt diet, weight reduction, moderation of alcohol intake, physical activity, tobacco avoidance are used as definitive or adjuvant therapy for hypertension. Family physicians should vigorously encourage their patients to adopt these life style modifications. This study was conducted to know how many nonpharmacologic treat,ment modalities are adopted by hypertensives and to find predicting factors. METHODS: A total of 100 of the hypertensive patients who are followed up via the department of family medicine, Hanyang University Hospital, from September 1995 through November 1995 are included in this study. A trained nurse interviewed patients according to the previously designed structured questionnaire. The overall response rate was 90% and the fill-up rate of the questionnaire was 100%. RESULTS: Sixty three patients were women. The mean age was 57.4 years(range, 20 to 84). Sixty one percent accompanied one or more other diseases, of which diabetes mellitus was the most common disorder. The mean systolic pressure was 143.9 mmHg and the mean diastolic blood pressure was 89.3mmHg. Ninty-three percent of patients received antihypertensives with compliance of 81 to 100%. Twenty four percent of patients adhered to regular exercise, 36 percent weight reduction, 48 percent low salt diet, 79 percent moderate drinking, 81 percent stress relaxation, and 87 percent no smoking. Of those six non-pharmacological treatments, 3.6 behaviors were adhered. Male patients were more attended with the low salt diet. Eleven patients of 2S alcoholics(44.0%) reduced their amount of alcohol intake and 8 of 17 smokers quitted smoking (47.1%) after they were diagnosed as hypertension. The mean BEPSI score was 1.5. Fifty one percent of patients had stress within the last three months, 32 percent had cumulative fatigue. The occupational stress was the most common one. All exercise which patients reported were isotonic. Seventeen percent of the patients took certain herb medicine or folk medicine. CONCLUSIONS: Of those 100 hypertensives who were treated at the department of family medicine, Hanyang University hospital, 24% adhered to regular exercise, 36 per cent weight reduction, 48 percent low salt diet, 79 percent moderate drinking, 81 percent stress relaxation, and 87 percent quit smoking in order. Of those six non-pharmacological treatments, 3.6 behaviors were adhered on the average. Nonpharmacologic treatment should be promoted by family physician as an important strategy for treatment of hypertension.