BACKGROUND: Upper gastrointestinal symptoms is the one of the most frequent symptom in primary medicine, those manifestations are various and can not find the cause in many cases. In Korea the management patterns for upper gastrointestinal symptoms are using drug store, oriental medicine, folk methods, diet therapy in addition to medical service. We have investigated the behavioral patterns for the control of upper gastrointestinal symptoms. METHODS: The authors surveyed the patients who had visited Dong guk university Kyung ju hospital with upper gastrointestinal symptoms from April 1 to June 30 in 2000. RESULTS: 269 questionnaires were collected and among them 247 completed ones were analysed. 112 subjects were used medical service only(45.3%), 135 subjects were used alternative methods also(54.7%). Among the 135 subjects who used alternative methods, 60 visited to drug store(44.4%), 36 took oriental medicine(26.7%), 18 used folk herbal remedy(26.7%), 5 used diet therapy(3.7%), 16 used folk manual therapy(11.9%), most commonly. Women more commonly used alternative methods(P<0.01). By occupation, housewives more commonly used alternative methods and specialists less commonly used alternative methods. There were no significant difference between two groups in other general characteristics, most severe symptom, cost, satisfaction. CONCLUSION: We find the behavioral patterns for relieving upper gastrointestinal symptoms are using alternative methods(drug store, oriental medicine, folk herbal remedy, folk manual therapy, diet therapy) in addition to using medical service. Women and housewives more commonly used alternative methods, and specialist less commonly used alternative methods.