Three in every 20 patients do not feel as though they get enough emotional support while they are in hospital, figures suggest.
A survey of more than 60,000 patients treated in NHS hospitals in England found that 15% did not believe they were given enough support from staff.
But only 3% said they were not treated with respect and dignity.
The Care Quality Commission said that its 2012 inpatient survey showed improvement in many areas including "cleanliness and relationships with doctors and nurses".
But the poll found that almost a quarter of patients said their doctors talked in front of them as if they were not there.
One in five said they were not given enough information about their condition or treatment.
Patients also raised concerns that there were not enough nurses in hospitals, with one in 10 saying there were not enough on duty while they were being treated.