Background: Patient satisfaction after total hip (THA) and total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is a core outcome selected by the Outcomes Measurement in Rheumatology. Up to 20% of THA/TKA patients are dissatisfied. Improving patient satisfaction is hindered by the lack of a validated measurement tool that can accurately measure change. Methods: The psychometric properties of a proposed satisfaction instrument, consisting of 4 questions rated on a Likert scale, scored 1-100, were tested for validity, reliability, and sensitivity to change using data collected between 2007 and 2011 in an arthroplasty registry. Results: We demonstrated construct validity by confirming our hypothesis; satisfaction correlated with similar constructs. Satisfaction correlated moderately with pain relief (TKA ρ = 0.61, THA ρ = 0.47) and function (TKA ρ = 0.65, THA ρ = 0.51) at 2 years; there was no correlation with baseline/preoperative pain/function values, as expected. Overall Cronbach's alpha >0.88 confirmed internal consistency. Test-retest reliability with weighted kappa ranged 0.60-0.75 for TKA and 0.36-0.56 for THA. Hip disability and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score/Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Scores quality of life improvement (>30 points) corresponds to a mean satisfaction score of 93.2 (standard deviation, 11.5) after THA and 90.4 (standard deviation, 13.8) after TKA, and increasing relief of pain and functional improvement increased the strength of their association with satisfaction. The satisfaction measure has no copyright and is available free of cost and represents minimal responder burden. Conclusion: Patient satisfaction with THA/TKA can be measured with a validated 4-item questionnaire. This satisfaction measure can be included in a total joint arthroplasty core measurement set for total joint arthroplasty trials.
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