Our knowledge of best practices in education has expanded substantially in recent years; however, we know that these practices are not being routinely implemented in school-based settings. In response to the lack of consumer preferences and perceptions integrated into practice development, researchers began to explore issues in social validity, or the extent to which intervention goals, procedures, and effects are judged to be significant, important, and appropriate by stakeholders. Although several factors have been identified for predicting whether or not an intervention will be used (and will therefore ultimately be effective), treatment acceptability (i.e., the degree to which individuals perceive a treatment to be appropriate, fair, and reasonable) has received greatest emphasis over the past three decades. The work of Alan Kazdin, Joe Witt, Brian Martens, Steve Elliott, and others was based upon the premise that consumers are more likely to use treatments that they find to be acceptable. By identifying those features of interventions that were either acceptable or unacceptable to consumers (e.g., resources required, theoretical orientation), it was believed that interventions could be tailored to maximize usage.
Although treatment acceptability has generally been the primary focus within the school-based literature, empirical support for various conceptual models of treatment acceptability as the primary influence on intervention effectiveness has been limited. Moreover, researchers across various fields including medicine and social services have long acknowledged the presence of additional influences on treatment usage. These researchers have identified numerous variables that are believed to influence whether or not a treatment is used; however, common across most of these models has been the acknowledgement of multiple levels of influence. The Usage Rating Profile (URP) was therefore designed to assess those factors believed to influence treatment usage at the individual (i.e. Acceptability, Understanding), intervention (i.e., Feasibility,), and environmental (i.e., Family-School Collaboration, System Climate, System Support) levels.