The main objective of this prospective randomised study was to evaluate whether offering pre-colposcopy group sessions reduces anxiety at the time of colposcopy. We also examined whether this strategy improved knowledge about abnormal smears and colposcopy and improved satisfaction with the colposcopy service provided. One hundred and forty-seven women undergoing colposcopy for the first time were randomised into two groups. The control group (n = 75) received conventional management. The study group (n = 72), in addition to conventional management, were invited to attend a pre-colposcopy group session led by a trained colposcopy nurse. Questionnaires were used to determine state anxiety inventory scores and knowledge scores at the time of randomisation, immediately before colposcopy and 6 weeks after the clinic visit. Satisfaction questionnaires were completed 6 weeks after the clinic visit. We found that women attending colposcopy clinics are anxious. Those women who attended the pre-colposcopy session had improved knowledge scores (P = 0.039) at the time of colposcopy and satisfaction (P = 0.037). However, the intervention failed to significantly reduce anxiety at the time of colposcopy (P > 0.05).