Patient satisfaction is an important goal in orthopaedic surgery; however, it may not always reflect the surgical result that is obtained. By means of a systematic review according to the QUOROM criteria, we investigated how often satisfaction measured by a single question was used in trials reporting on the clinical outcome of total hip arthroplasty. This review showed that in 2006, 24.4% of these trials reported on satisfaction obtained by a single question. To assess the validity of satisfaction as a single question, a randomly selected group of 106 patients were questioned at an average of 15.5 years after a total hip arthroplasty (THA; range 4.2 -29.8 years). Questioning consisted of a Likert 5 scale satisfaction question and the Harris Hip Score. Satisfaction as a single question showed to have a poor construct and content validity. Despite the fact that satisfaction may be an important outcome measure, it cannot be judged as a reflection of a good result of the surgical intervention alone when evaluated using a single question.